SEAN ST LEDGER HAS been ruled out of this month’s international friendly with Serbia, the FAI announced.
The centre-half, who played all three of Ireland’s Euro 2012 games, picked up a medial ligament injury while during a pre-season match for Championships club Leicester City on Wednesday and is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks.
With the opening World Cup 2014 qualifier, an away trip to Kazakhstan, a month away, it spells more bad news for manager Giovanni Trapattoni after it emerged earlier this week that Richard Dunne is likely to be out for nearly two months.
In St Ledger’s absence, Trap has opted to call up Joey O’Brien, who will be involved in the senior set-up for the first time in four years.
The 26-year-old Dubliner made his debut under Steve Staunton in 2006 but was plagued with a succession of injuries during his time at Bolton Wanderers.
However, a move to West Ham to link up with former boss Sam Allardyce has seen him recover from that nightmare spell on the sidelines to make 33 appearances for the Hammers last season as they won promotion back to the Premier League.
O’Brien, who has been playing regularly as a full-back but was seen as a midfielder in the past, will link up with the squad in Dublin next Sunday, August 12.