Robbie Keane will miss Ireland’s final Euro 2016 warm-up game due to a calf injury, writes Stephen Barry.
Ireland’s record goal-scorer hasn’t played for his country since coming on as a sub against Poland last October and had been pencilled in to start against Belarus. However he will now miss tomorrow’s match.
Keane had started three games for LA Galaxy this month, scoring twice, after recovering from a knee injury, but this comes as a fresh setback.
“He did some training on Saturday morning and he felt his calf just at the end of training, so we’re just taking it on a daily basis,” said Martin O’Neill this evening.
“He won’t play in the game tomorrow night, I don’t think it’s worth risking that. But he is, as he says himself, a quick healer and we’ll see how it goes.”
With the Irish squad due to be confirmed at 11pm tomorrow, just after the game against Belarus, O’Neill hinted that Keane, who watched the Turner’s Cross training session from the stand, shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
“You don’t mind taking a risk with one or two. You don’t want a host of players going in where fitness is definitely a concern. That wouldn’t be any good to anyone.
“But, first of all, he is the captain of the side and, secondly, he has been playing pretty regularly since he picked up an injury about six or seven weeks ago. I’m hoping that the risk is not that great, but we’ll have a look.
“I think he’s pretty hopeful (of making the final 23-man squad).”
Keane’s injury limits Ireland’s attacking options, while Kevin Doyle, who played for his club Colorado Rapids on Sunday, hasn’t travelled to Cork and is on the standby list.
Daryl Murphy will start tomorrow “to prove some sort of fitness” having not played since Ireland’s Good Friday friendly against Switzerland two months ago.
James McCarthy, who has a thigh injury, did some individual work with fitness coach Dan Horan and says he’s feeling better than a few days ago.
“It’s one of those things we’ll have to have a look at on a daily basis – not that we’ve that many days left – but I think there’s optimism around,” said O’Neill.
Harry Arter also hurt his thigh during the training game on the Turner’s Cross pitch.
The man-of-the-match against Holland will have the injury scanned later today.