Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni was today wrapping some of his biggest names in cotton wool after seeing his injury list grow significantly.
The Republic’s Gannon Park training headquarters in Malahide resembled a field hospital this morning as Trapattoni’s walking wounded were nursed back to health, with goalkeeper Shay Given joining the likes of John O’Shea, Kevin Foley and Keith Fahey on the sidelines.
In addition, Keith Andrews, Shane Long and Jon Walters all sat out parts of the session.
Only 12 men were actually on the training pitch as the first spell of the day drew to a close, although the 73-year-old Trapattoni later insisted those who rested had done so only as a precaution.
Given was sent for a scan on a knee injury he picked up in training yesterday, and a Football Association of Ireland spokesman confirmed today: “After undergoing a scan, it was concluded that Shay should sit out training for the next two to three days for precautionary measures.”
Trapattoni later suggested the 36-year-old Aston Villa keeper is his biggest concern ahead of Euro 2012 – which for the Republic kicks off against Croatia on June 10 – and hinted that either Sunderland’s Keiren Westwood or David Forde of Millwall could play in Saturday’s friendly against Bosnia.
He said: “There is only Shay Given, who has a little bit of a problem. We have to decide run the risk or stay. We have another two [keepers].
“For this game, we will decide with the doctor because at this moment, we don’t need to run the risk.”
Sunderland defender O’Shea will almost certainly not play in the Bosnia game, with the FAI spokesman adding: “Giovanni Trapattoni has also decided that John O’Shea may not partake in Saturday’s game against Bosnia for precautionary measures, but has confirmed that John will be fit in time for Euro 2012.
“John is undergoing rehabilitative treatment this week on his ankle.”
However, Trapattoni was in relaxed mood as he ran through the catalogue of fitness concerns, with skipper Robbie Keane having finally joined up with the squad following his hamstring scare.
He said: “Robbie will [be okay], but he has flown for too long and it was better he rested.
“O’Shea has assured me for the next game, he will be ready. He needs only a little bit.
“He has an ankle – not an injury, a knock – but he said, ’I will be ready for the game’.”
On West Brom midfielder Andrews, the Italian added: “He is the same. He has a little bit of an injury. He worked in the gym, but it is just a bit of tiredness in he muscles.”
Trapattoni has taken issue in the past with players who have not reported for international duty because of injury, a situation he insists would never have happened during his time as Italy manager, and he is delighted the message appears to have got through.
He said: “It’s important they are here and not at home with their physios. They are here, they show us their willingness to be here, and that’s important.
“It’s the same with Robbie. It is important also to watch what you do. They worked in the gym this morning and this afternoon, there is the possibility of a little bit of tactical and technical work.
“That will depend on the doctor at this moment, but it is important they are here with us.”
Ten members of the squad met up last Thursday with the bulk of the remainder arriving on Sunday for what will be a long haul whether they progress from the group or not.
Many will occupy their spare time by watching DVDs – striker Shane Long has brought his guitar, much to the consternation of room-mate Kevin Doyle – but for Trapattoni, there will be little time for relaxation.
Asked how he would unwind, he said: “We need to watch DVDs. We have so many DVDs, about Spain, about also Italy – we already know Italy – and Croatia.
“There are many friendlies and qualifying games, and that’s important.
“We will see the teams and all the little situations to improve our information because I can’t forget a little detail.
“Our job in the free time, I have only many DVDs to watch. But I love it.
“Football now, all the technology allows us to see everything, and those little situations, they are important.”