Best to miss Ireland games

Best out of Euro 2012 play-offs due to child birth

Leon Best: Set to miss the Republic of Ireland's crucial Euro 2012 play-off games

Newcastle striker Leon Best is set to miss the Republic of Ireland's crucial Euro 2012 play-off games against Estonia.

The Magpies forward was substituted during Saturday's win over Everton and has since complained of groin and toe problems.

Best's wife is also pregnant and is due to give birth imminently, which could be another reason for the striker to miss the clash.

The 25-year-old was only named in Giovanni Trapattoni's squad last Friday after fitness doubts over West Brom striker Shane Long.

But Newcastle boss Alan Pardew felt it was the birth of his child that was the deciding factor.

Imminent

Pardew said: "Leon's wife is imminent and they are in discussions.

"He is desperate to play, don't get me wrong. We have spoken to the manager and spoken to the medical team about maybe a bit of compassion in terms of him staying about today because she's that close, so we will see."

Ireland face Estonia after finishing second in Group B and have a chance to reach their first major tournament since World Cup 2002.

But Trapattoni has had other injury problems to contend with after Portsmouth midfielder Liam Lawrence was withdrawn from the squad with an ankle ligament injury.