James McCarthy is out of the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier in Austria through injury.
The Everton midfielder, who has found himself at the centre of a war of words between Ireland boss Martin O’Neill and club manager Ronald Koeman in recent days, will miss Saturday’s Group D clash in Vienna with a hamstring problem.
McCarthy was one of four men ruled out of the game at the Ernst Happel Stadium through injury when O’Neill confirmed his squad on Monday evening, along with Burnley defender Stephen Ward, Derby counterpart Cyrus Christie and Reading midfielder Stephen Quinn.
A Football Association of Ireland statement said: “Injury has ruled out Cyrus Christie, Stephen Ward, James McCarthy and Stephen Quinn from the provisional squad, while some players will be assessed by the FAI medical staff.”
McCarthy played for his country in the victories over both Georgia and Moldova last month after recovering from groin surgery, but returned to Merseyside to find Koeman was less than impressed.
He and O’Neill have since traded blows over the player with the Republic boss insisting he has always had the player’s welfare in mind.
Sunderland defender John O’Shea is one of those who will be assessed as he fights his way back from a hamstring injury.
Christie had earlier revealed that he faces at least three months on the sidelines after breaking a bone in his right foot during Derby’s 3-2 Sky Bet Championship win at Wolves on Saturday.
The Republic are currently level on points with group leaders Serbia after winning two and drawing the other of their opening three qualifiers.