James McClean has been forced to withdraw from the Ireland squad to face Germany and Faroe Islands with a hip injury - and the star winger could be a doubt for the Wear-Tyne derby with Newcastle United in little under two weeks time.
McClean complained of injury but soldiered on in the 3-0 defeat against Manchester City, which would help explain his incredibly poor contribution to the game in general as it was one of his worst in the red and white of Sunderland. If this is indeed the case, we can excuse him a little for being off form.
A statement today from the FAI told more of the injury;
The results of James McClean's scan this morning in Sunderland showed a grade one hip flexor strain which will certainly rule him out for the Germany match and may exclude him for the Faroe Islands. McClean will remain at his club to receive treatment.
Looking into the injury further, it's slightly worrying news for us. On the positive side, a grade one strain is the lowest of all the possible grades given to such injuries. On the negative side, others who have suffered such injuries usually take anywhere between one and three weeks to recover from it.
With him withdrawing from the squad to play this Friday and the following Tuesday, it's clearly been deemed that he will take a solid ten days to recover already, and any more on top of that would certainly rule him out of the big derby game the following weekend.
If McClean misses out, it's likely we'd turn to Adam Johnson on the wing, with Seb Larsson moving to the right hand side in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
We do however wish McClean a speedy recovery from injury and return to form.