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Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 20:08 UK

Lafferty hoping to face Slovakia

World Cup qualifier: Northern Ireland v Slovakia
Venue: Windsor Park Date: Wednesday, 9 September Kick-off: 1945 BST Coverage: Live on Radio Ulster medium wave and Radio Ulster website, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live, highlights on BBC1 NI 2315 BST


Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty is hoping to recover from a knee injury in time to play against Slovakia

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty is hoping to recover from a knee injury in time to play in Wednesday's key World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.

The Rangers striker had initially been thought to have little chance of being fit after limping out of Saturday's 1-1 draw away to Poland.

A scan has shown the damage to be not as bad as first feared.

"There was a lot of pain on Sunday but it has gone. This is a big game and I want to be part of it," said Lafferty.

"I have a lot more movement than when it happened."

However, Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington was cautious about Lafferty's fitness on Monday night.

"It is good that surgery will not be required but the next thing we have got to do give Kyle a bit of time over the next 24 hours.

"Then he will have strenuous tests to see where we are. It will have to be severely tested before Wednesday night.


"I would give him some chance but until we start the turning and twisting, and the rigours of a game situation, we just do not know."

Lafferty sustained the injury during the second half in Poland, in which he scored after 37 minutes of the first half.

The forward will have a scan on Monday to assess the extent of the damage but is rated very doubtful for the match.

Accrington Stanley striker Billy Kee has been called into the squad.

Meanwhile West Bromwich Albion winger Chris Brunt has joined up with the squad in Belfast after missing the game in Poland because of a calf injury.

Defender Chris Baird is also back in the panel after serving a one-match suspension but striker Andrew Little and Sunderland player George McCartney are still absent.

Kee impressed while playing for the Northern Ireland Elite squad at the recent Milk Cup tournament and was part of the Under-21 panel which lost 2-0 to the Czech Republic in a European Championship qualifying game on Friday night.

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see also
Clingan targets top spot for NI
07 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Poland 1-1 N Ireland
05 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Hughes disappointed by equaliser
05 Sep 09 |  Internationals
International football as it happened
05 Sep 09 |  Football
Ward returns to N Ireland squad
24 Aug 09 |  Internationals
NI boss closes door on Gillespie
23 Aug 09 |  Irish
Worthington wants a sharp Healy
13 Aug 09 |  Internationals
N Ireland qualifiers live on BBC
12 Aug 09 |  Internationals
NI winger impresses Worthington
12 Aug 09 |  Internationals
N Ireland 1-1 Israel
12 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Coates remains in N Ireland squad
03 Aug 09 |  Internationals
N Ireland 1-0 Slovenia
01 Apr 09 |  Internationals
Northern Ireland 3-2 Poland
28 Mar 09 |  Internationals

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