Lafferty retains Czech hope

Northern Ireland ace battling to be fit

Lafferty: Battling to be fit

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Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty hopes his back injury improves enough for him to feature in his country's upcoming World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic.

"It is vital we get the World Cup campaign off to a good start and I really want to be a part of that."

Kyle Lafferty

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The Rangers hit-man has been ruled out of their opening qualifier against Slovakia, but is hoping the knock improves sufficiently for him to feature against the Czechs in a week's time.

After missing Northern Ireland's recent friendly against Scotland, Lafferty is keen not to be absent for any more international fixtures for his county.

Rest

"The specialist told me I need to rest or the injury would get worse," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"But the next two games for Northern Ireland are massive.

"It is vital we get the World Cup campaign off to a good start and I really want to be a part of that. I did everything to make sure I am available but at the end of the day it will be up to the medical staff.

"I missed out on the Scotland match because of a hamstring injury so the last thing I want to do is miss anymore games.

"Nigel Worthington has told me he will monitor the situation over the weekend and I still hope I can play some part in the Czech Republic game."