Midfielder James McCarthy will miss the rest of the Republic of Ireland’s Carling Nations Cup campaign with an ankle injury, his Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed.
Martinez revealed the Latics had sent the relevant medical reports to the Irish camp, a day after national team boss Giovanni Trapattoni said one player, believed to be McCarthy, had not returned his calls ahead of tonight’s clash with Northern Ireland and Sunday’s meeting with Scotland.
But Martinez insists there is no suggestion of McCarthy having gone AWOL, and that he needs a month-long rest after suffering the injury against Stoke at the weekend.
“He had a challenge in the game against Stoke with Jermaine Pennant, we had a scan and the scan revealed grade one ligament damage in his right ankle,” the Spaniard said this afternoon.
“We passed the report to the Republic of Ireland medical team and they are well, well aware. That is where James had an operation earlier this season and it is an area that is a bit of a concern.
“We have to work together to try and get him a speedy recovery but he is not available to play and he will need at least three or four weeks to recover.”
Scotland-born McCarthy’s relationship with Trapattoni has long been a fractious one, with the former Hamilton man withdrawing from the squad to face his native country in February, fuelling speculation he would rather play for them.
However, the 20-year-old committed his future to Ireland by turning out against Macedonia in a European Championship qualifier in March.
His withdrawal comes a day after Celtic striker Anthony Stokes angered Trapattoni by pulling out of the squad owing to tiredness.
“He is a good player but you must also have will, desire,” the Italian said of Stokes.
“Injuries are injuries, but they should visit our doctor. That is the rule. If they are asked by the national team they must go.
“If they are in hospital or they are dead, that is OK, but if there is an injury they should see our doctor.”