Lafferty out of crunch clash
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By Chris Burton. Last Updated: September 8, 2009 11:15am
Lafferty: Out of action
Kyle Lafferty has been ruled out of Northern Ireland's 2010 World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Wednesday.
The Rangers striker picked up a knee problem during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Poland.
The injury was severe enough for the burly frontman to undergo scans, with fears he may have suffered long-term damage.
However, Lafferty told Sky Sports News on Monday that medical exams had uncovered no serious issue and he was optimistic of being involved in midweek.
Those hopes have proven to be premature, though, as the 21-year-old has now been withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad.
He is set to head back to Ibrox to receive further treatment on the knock.
A statement from the Irish Football Association read: "The 21-year-old underwent a scan yesterday on a knee injury sustained in the 1-1 draw against Poland.
"He was then assessed this morning by the team's medical staff and it was decided that no risk would be put on the player nor Glasgow Rangers or Northern Ireland - he has therefore been withdrawn from the squad for Wednesday's game.
"Lafferty will return immediately to his club."
Northern Ireland head into their meeting with Slovakia looking to cement their second place standing in Group Three.