Shayne Lavery ruled out of Northern Ireland games with Slovenia and Kazakhstan due to hamstring injury
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Michael O’Neill named Lavery in his squad on Tuesday despite knowing the 24-year-old was an injury doubt after hobbling off during Blackpool’s 3-0 defeat to Lincoln last weekend.
Critchley said Lavery’s hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared, but it is enough to rule him out of the Seasiders’ match against Wigan this weekend and the international window that follows.
“He’ll miss this weekend, he’s OK but he’ll miss international duty as well,” Critchley said.
“It’s not a long-term one which means bringing him off at the stage we did, which we didn’t want to do, might have saved him from a longer term injury. We’re expecting it to be a couple of weeks at the most.”
Lavery joins a long list of players unavailable to O’Neill for the away doubleheader, with Conor Bradley, Jamal Lewis and Aaron Donnelly joining long-term absentees Steven Davis, Stuart Dallas, Shane Ferguson and Corry Evans on the sidelines.
O’Neill also has a question mark over Wycombe striker Dale Taylor, with Wanderers saying the 19-year-old was being assessed after limping out of last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers.
Northern Ireland, fifth in Group H, face Slovenia in Ljubljana on September 7 before travelling to Astana to take on Kazakhstan on September 10.