Shane Long looks certain to miss the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming World Cup qualifier against Austria after a scan revealed that he had suffered a broken metatarsal in Southampton’s win over Middlesbrough last Saturday.
The Saints saw off Championship-bound Middlesbrough 2-1 at the Riverside Stadium, with Long setting up Jay Rodriguez’s opener in the first half before missing a spot-kick after the interval.
Long was replaced by Charlie Austin with three minutes of normal time remaining after a bad tackle by 'Boro defender Ben Gibson.
While neither club nor country have confirmed the recovery time for the injury, playing a role in Ireland’s clash against Austria on 11 June would now appear to be beyond Long, who missed the meeting with Austria in Vienna in November with a hamstring injury.
Martin O’Neill’s side are currently in second place in Group D in their bid to qualify for the Russia event, where they trail Serbia on goal difference.