David Harte has emerged as a big doubt for the EuroHockey Championships in three weeks time as a muscle strain cut leave Ireland without the two-time goalkeeper of the year.
He was not named in the panel released by Hockey Ireland with Jamie Carr and Mark Ingram included in the goalkeeping spots.
However, coach Alexander Cox did add “there are still some decisions to make around the goalkeepers” with the governing body confirming to the Irish Examiner the Cork man could return should the inflammation on the injury go down quickly.
He missed last weekend’s series against Scotland where Ireland picked up a draw and a win. Otherwise, there are plenty of changes from the FIH Series panel with Kirk Shimmins, Stu Loughrey and Jeremy Duncan all coming in along with former Australia international Tim Cross who impressed in those games against Scotland.
Luke Madeley is out with a broken bone in his foot while Matthew Nelson and Matthew Bell both drop to the reserve-list.
Ireland face England on Thursday in Terrassa, Spain, in their next warm-up game for the Euros before meeting Malaysia and Spain over the weekend. The main event gets underway in Antwerp on August 16.
Elsewhere, Ireland’s women hammered world number 17 side Italy for the second time in three days as they ran up a 4-1 win at Stormont.
Nikki Evans netted twice to underpin the win, deflecting home from Roisin Upton’s cross for the first and then making it 2-1 early in the second half. Sarah Hawkshaw and Deirdre Duke added goals three and four in the closing stages.
Their next preparation games are in Belgium in two weeks time before final selection for the Euros will be made on August 11.