Aaron Hughes: Northern Ireland defender a doubt for Germany World Cup qualifier

Aaron Hughes
Aaron Hughes has won 108 caps for Northern Ireland

Aaron Hughes appears to be a doubt for Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Germany on Thursday because of a calf injury.

Northern Ireland's most capped outfield player was substituted after only seven minutes of Hearts' game against Dundee on Saturday.

Hughes, 37, was bothered by the injury prior to Saturday's game.

"We knew that he might struggle with his calf injury," said Hearts boss Craig Levein.

"We decided to give him a chance but obviously it didn't last and forced us into the change."

The Hearts defender, who has won 108 caps, started in both of Northern Ireland's qualifier wins over San Marino and the Czech Republic last month.

West Brom's Gareth McAuley is available again after missing those games.

Northern Ireland complete their Group C campaign in Norway three days after the Germany game at Windsor Park.

Hughes' next Northern Ireland outing will take him beyond England's Bobby Moore as the home nations' most capped defender of all time.

The county Tyrone man earned his first Northern Ireland cap 19 years ago.

Northern Ireland have guaranteed second place in Group C and only an unlikely series of results will deny Michael O'Neill's side a place in next month's play-offs.