O'Shea to link up with squad as scheduled

O'Shea to link up with squad as scheduled

Sunderland defender John O’Shea will meet up with the Republic of Ireland squad as scheduled after undergoing a scan last night.

Manager Martin O’Neill admitted after yesterday afternoon’s 1-0 home defeat by Manchester United, during which O’Shea limped off before the break, that the 31-year-old could be a doubt for the Euro 2012 finals.

However, the Black Cats today confirmed that O’Shea will join up with the rest of Giovanni Trapattoni’s Barclays Premier League-based players to start preparations in Malahide on Sunday.

O'Neill initially indicated that the defender had aggravated a long-standing calf problem, but a club statement today revealed it was an ankle injury and there is no lasting damage.

A spokesman said: “John suffered a knock to his ankle in training prior to the Fulham game, which he aggravated slightly in Sunday’s game against Manchester United.

“He was taken off as a precaution and following positive results from a scan last night, he will meet up with the Republic of Ireland squad as scheduled next week.”

O’Shea has been a cornerstone of Trapattoni’s team in the last two qualifying campaigns, playing at both right-back and in central defence, and his absence would have been a major blow.

The Republic’s npower Championship players, as well as Black Cats winger James McClean, will arrive at their training base on Thursday, and the remaining members of the squad will join up three days later.

They have a week in Ireland before a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday, and will then head for their training camp in Montecatini, Italy, before a final warm-up game again Hungary in Budapest.

They open their campaign against Croatia in Poznan on June 10.

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