STEPHEN Ward has been to see a specialist over a persistent knee injury that has blighted his start to the season.

The left-back played 90 minutes of Burnley's Carabao Cup defeat at Burton on September 25 but he hasn't been involved in any of the last five Premier League games and wasn't even on the bench against Cardiff City and Huddersfield.

Republic of Ireland have confirmed that Ward will play no part in their Nations League double header against Denmark and Wales after seeing a specialist on Monday.

But Kevin Long and Jeff Hendrick are in Martin O'Neill's final squad for the games at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and Tuesday.

Ireland will be looking to get their Nations League campaign back on track, having lost their opening fixture in Wales 4-1 last month.

O'Neill's side steadied the ship with a friendly draw in Poland after the hammering in Cardiff and Hendrick is looking to take the positives from that into the games this month.

“It going to be tough, after our last game (against Wales), these two teams played each other and we saw the result that day, 2-0 (to Denmark)," the Burnley midfielder said.

"We had a tough game against them (last year) but it could have been a little different. We went a goal up and we had a crazy 20 minutes and we were out of the game.

"This (playing them again) is a big opportunity. We’ve got to take whatever positives we can (from that game), take some positives from the Poland game and try to get some payback."