Hearts' Aaron Hughes and Kyle Lafferty in Northern Ireland squad

Aaron Hughes hasn't played for Hearts for the last month but is in the Northern Ireland squad
Aaron Hughes hasn't played for Hearts for the last month but is in the Northern Ireland squad
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Hearts defender Aaron Hughes has been named in Northern Ireland's squad despite being injured for the last month.

The Irish manager Michael O'Neill called up 37-year-old Hughes and his Tynecastle colleague Kyle Lafferty for the forthcoming World Cup qualifying play-off against Switzerland next month.

Hughes hasn't played for Hearts since limping off with a calf problem seven minutes into the 2-1 defeat against Dundee at Dens Park on September 30. He is unlikely to be fit for international duty against the Swiss given the first leg is on November 9, with the return on November 12.

The injury denied him the chance to become British football's most-capped defender in history last month. Had he played in either of Northern Ireland's final two Group C qualifiers against Germany or Norway, he would have won his 109th cap and eclipsed England World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore’s 108-cap record.