Martin O'Neill will have to do without James McCarthy in Serbia

Ireland midfielder is ruled out with injury

Martin O'Neill will have to do without James McCarthy in Serbia

James McCarthy ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

James McCarthy has been ruled out of Ireland's opening 2018 World Cup qualifier against Serbia.

A groin injury means the Everton midfielder will miss out on the trip to Belgrade.

He requires surgery on the issue and that is set to rule him out of action for a couple of weeks.

The 25-year-old was not involved as Ireland defeated Oman 4-0 in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday night.