Ireland captain Robbie Keane has been ruled out of the team's crucial 2012 European Championship qualifier against Armenia on Tuesday because of an injury to his adductor muscle.

The injury deprives the Irish of their most inspirational player for a match they need to win to stand a chance of leapfrogging Russia to finish top of Group B, which would qualify them automatically for next year's tournament.

The Los Angeles Galaxy forward complained of soreness in his adductor muscle after playing the full 90 minutes of Friday's 2-0 win in Andorra.

Keane is Ireland's all-time leading scorer with 51 goals.

Ireland is two points behind Russia, which hosts Andorra, and a point clear of Armenia going into the final qualifier.