Preston North End dealt injury blow as midfielder withdrawn from international duty

The PNE man did not feature against Ipswich Town last weekend
Ali McCann of Northern Ireland Ali McCann of Northern Ireland
Ali McCann of Northern Ireland

Preston North End midfielder Ali McCann has been withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad due to a calf injury.

The 23-year-old was set to go away with his country for UEFA Euro qualifying matches against Slovenia and San Marino. But, having missed last weekend’s Championship match against Ipswich Town - who beat PNE 4-2 - McCann will stay in Lancashire for rehabilitation.

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Preston boss Ryan Lowe put McCann’s absence at Portman Road down to a ‘niggle’ - the midfielder having still travelled with the team. Following a scan, though, the player has been pulled from Michael O’Neill’s squad as he aims to recover. It is understood that McCann will be sidelined for a number of weeks, with the injury not a minor one.

North End will still be represented on the international scene, with Liam Millar called up by Canada for their friendly with Japan. Fellow deadline day recruit, Milutin Osmajic, is with Montenegro for a friendly against Lebanon and crucial EURO qualifier against Serbia. And finally, club captain Alan Browne will face Greece and Gibraltar in qualifying matches for the Republic of Ireland.

International fixtures in full for PNE players (all kick-off times UK)

Liam Millar: Japan (A) - Friday, 13 October, 11:35

Milutin Osmajic: Lebanon (H) - Thursday, 12 October, 17:00 / Serbia (A) - Tuesday, 17 October, 19:45

Alan Browne: Greece (H) - Friday, 13 October, 19:45 / Gibraltar (A) - Monday, 16 October, 19:45