Martin O'Neill names his squad for the crucial World Cup qualifier with Wales on Monday, and once again he'll be doing so with a hamstring injury bothering James McCarthy.
The midfielder was absent from Everton's squad for their 3-0 win against West Brom this afternoon, and afterwards manager Ronald Koeman confirmed that yet another hamstring issue is niggling away at the 26-year-old.
"James again has some problems with his hamstring - it happened at the beginning of last week. It’s painful for him and also for me because I like him and we want to progress with him. But every time we do that he has to take a step back. It’s not a big hamstring injury - he will be out for one or two weeks - but I’m really disappointed about it.
"We need to deal with his fitness and maybe [play him] 30-35 minutes like last week, then put him through recovery. We need to learn. I’m not a doctor but I want the best for him, it’s difficult. It’s another step back for the boy and that’s really disappointing. We need to find a solution and we haven’t found it yet."
Koeman's outlook of one to two weeks does leave McCarthy in contention for the game against Wales on March 24th, but it could leave the midfielder in the middle of another tug of war between club and country.
The Everton boss was less than impressed with O'Neill when McCarthy returned from groin surgery in time to start Ireland's qualifiers against Moldova and Georgia in October, claiming he'd been "overloaded" while away with the international team.
And the pair were at logegrheads again a month later, when McCarthy was forced to pull out of the squad to play Austria in Vienna, having suffered another hamstring injury.