Ballyclare’s Paddy McNair became the latest Manchester United player to head for the treatment room after a hamstring complaint saw him join the long list of sidelined defenders at Old Trafford.
After two excellent displays in the wins over West Ham and Everton, the 19-year-old had been expected to replace injured clubmate Jonny Evans in the Northern Ireland squad for this week’s Euro qualifiers with the Faroe Islands and Greece.
But with reports suggesting he could be out for up to three weeks, it seems the Ballyclare Colts product will have to wait just a little longer for his first senior international call-up.
On Tuesday, the Irish FA confirmed that Evans, who hasn’t featured for the Red Devils since September’s 5-3 defeat at Leicester City, has been forced to withdraw from Michael O’Neill’s panel with an ankle injury.
McNair played the full 90 minutes in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the Toffees. He delivered another assured defensive performance as United moved into the Premier League’s top four.
Slotting seamlessly into the first-team, he seized another opportunity with both hands and kept striker Romelu Lukaku under wraps.