The Republic of Ireland could be without one of their key players for the do-or-die qualifier against Denmark next month after Darren Randolph missed Middlesbrough's 0-0 draw with Huddersfield on Wednesday night due to a thigh strain.
Aynsley Pears - son of club legend, Stephen - started in his stead and, speaking after the game, Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate admitted that there was no definite return date for Randolph, who has been carrying this injury for a couple of weeks.
Speaking to Teesside Live in the post match press conference, Woodgate said:
“I'm not sure how long he'll be. He might not make the Ireland game, he might not make next week, I don't know how long he will be, we'll have to go through the scans in more detail.
“He was sore coming back from international duty. He played against West Brom and he was sore with it so he's had it for a while.”
With less than four weeks until the match against Denmark on 18 November, Mick McCarthy will have to weigh up his options should Randolph miss out. Bournemouth's Mark Travers would seem the most likely candidate after starting the recent friendly against Bulgaria.
Kieran O'Hara - currently on loan at Burton Albion from Manchester United - also got game time against Bulgaria and was part of the last international squad for Georgia and Switzerland.
McCarthy's other obvious option is the much more experienced Keiren Westwood but he is not without his own injury troubles either. The Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper missed the last two matches for his club with a fresh ankle injury, having pulled out of the Ireland squad to face Switzerland and Bulgaria at the beginning of the season with knee trouble.
For Randolph, Middlesbrough's next match is against Fulham on Saturday afternoon, so Irish fans will be keeping a close eye to see if he returns to the starting line-up.