Stephen Kelly faces a race against time to be fit for Fulham’s trip to Sunderland on Saturday.

The right back was due to replace the injured Zdenek Grygera at the Stadium of Light after the Czech defender ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament last week against Tottenham. But Kelly has been ruled out of the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2012 play-off second leg against Estonia, having picked up a groin injury in the 4-0 win in Tallinn on Friday night. His participation at Sunderland is now in serious doubt.

It could leave Martin Jol with a serious selection dilemma. Chris Baird would be the obvious candidate to fill in at full-back, but he has recently been partnering Brede Hangeland in central defence with Aaron Hughes and Philippe Senderos both sidelined by thigh injuries.