Injured Hughes out of Germany qualifier

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OCTOBER 3, 2017 – Aaron Hughes has been ruled out of Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Germany on Thursday.

The veteran Hearts defender picked up a calf injury during their match against Dundee on Saturday and has returned to Scotland for further treatment.

Manager Michael O’Neill has called up Dunfermline defender Callum Morris as a replacement for Hughes.

Northern Ireland have won all five of their matches so far in 2017 and are guaranteed second place in Group C.

Hughes, 37, had been struggling with a calf problem going into last weekend’s game and he was forced off after seven minutes of the 2-1 defeat at Dens Park.

He is Northern Ireland’s most-capped outfield player, has won 108 caps since making his debut in 1998 and started in the past three qualifiers against Azerbaijan, San Marino and the Czech Republic, which Northern Ireland won without conceding a goal.

Morris has yet to make his senior international debut. The former Dundee United and Aberdeen defender was an unused substitute during the World Cup qualifiers against Germany and the Czech Republic at the beginning of the campaign.

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