Conor Washington will miss Northern Ireland’s remaining three European Qualifiers with a hamstring injury.
Washington, who started in the 2-0 defeat to Germany in Belfast earlier this month, picked up the injury while stretching for the ball in Hearts’ 3-2 home loss to Motherwell on Saturday and will be out of action for three months.
Northern Ireland are battling with Germany and the Netherlands for two qualification places, with forward Washington important to their high-press style in recent games.
Germany and Northern Ireland are equal on 12 points at the top of the table, with Germany in first place through goal difference.
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