Republic of Ireland midfielder Damien Duff was ruled out of the upcoming UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier at home to Russia with a calf injury, manager Giovanni Trapattoni announced Monday.
And the Italian said it was "90 per cent" the Fulham player would also miss the subsequent qualifier against Slovakia. "Damien Duff has had a scan and there is a little injury," said Trapattoni. It is 90 percent he is not available (for both games).
"A muscle injury is very dangerous. It is not easy to recover in eight days," he went on. "He has pulled the muscle and there is a little blood showing on the scan, so we spoke to the doctor and he is going home."
The Republic launched their campaign with back-to-back victories over Armenia and Andorra last month. "We are happy after the first two games, but I have told the players we must start every game as if it were the first," Trapattoni said.
"We would like to win because it would be a very, very important result because we know the points the Russians are behind," the Italian continued. "From these two games, it would be excellent to achieve four points - but it is also important to stay at the top of the table."