Northern Ireland's preparations for this week's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Russia were dealt a blow on Tuesday when striker Kyle Lafferty was ruled out of the game with an Achilles injury.

The 25-year-old sustained the injury while playing for his new club Palermo on Sunday.

"Kyle Lafferty has been forced to withdraw from the Northern Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifier against Russia as a result of an injury," said the Irish Football Association in a statement.

"Lafferty suffered an Achilles injury playing for his club Palermo FC on Sunday. He has been assessed by his club and has not travelled to Belfast."

Russia are in second place in European qualifying Group F ahead of Wednesday's fixture at Windsor Park, two points behind Portugal with two games in hand and nine points clear of Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland.