Trap: Dunne set for early comeback

In what would prove a major boost for Ireland at the European Championships, Giovanni Trapattoni has said Richard Dunne is on course to return to action for Aston Villa as early as the end of this month.

The Ireland manager has been in regular touch with the central defender since he broke his collarbone in a game against Manchester City in February. And yesterday in Dublin Trapattoni had very encouraging news about the player’s recovery.

Said the Italian: “I was in touch with him and he said ‘Mister I am well, I am confident I play maybe the last game in April for Aston Villa’. He answered me this on Monday. Every two or three days I call him.”

If the prediction proves accurate, it would mean Dunne could play against West Brom on April 28 and, assuming he suffers no ill-effects, would have another two Premier League games, against Spurs and Norwich, before turning his attention to Ireland’s Euro warm-up friendlies against Bosnia and Hungary at the end of May.

Trapattoni also dismissed concerns about John O’Shea’s current calf problem, saying: “I spoke with him too and it’s only a little injury”.

Asked if he was continuing to monitor the progress of James McClean, the manager answered in the affirmative.

“Yes, he scored and plays well. And also (James) McCarthy. I have 50 DVD! All the days I look at Norwich, Wigan and Sunderland and they play well. He goes always now with confidence, McClean.”

By contrast, Trapattoni acknowledged that his Irish contingent at Wolves are going through a hard time.

“They are last in the table but we can give them enthusiasm,” he said. “Maybe they will return to us a little bit disappointed but we have different possibilities sure and they must believe us and in our system and mentality. It is another team and another situation.”

As to the make-up of his Euros squad of 23, Trapattoni conceded McCarthy and McClean are now knocking on the door but it seems they are scarcely assured of a place in the travelling party.

“It’s a pity that I have to let one or two options out at this moment,” he said. “I am sorry because it is my duty to choose. I am sure they deserve to come. Not 23, at this moment 28 deserve to come. For me it will be disappointing and I am sorry but it is my duty to choose this 23, that is our job.”

* Trapattoni was speaking outside Government Buildings after he’d posed for the cameras with Taoiseach Enda Kenny to promote a climb up Croagh Patrick on April 28. Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli will also to take part in the charity fund-raiser, titled ‘Enda’s Trek With Trap’s Green Army’. Trapattoni will be honouring his commitment to visit the reek again if the team qualified for Euro 2012 while helping to raise funds for Mayo Mountain Rescue, the John Giles Foundation in association with Three, Mayo and Roscommon Hospice, the Western Alzheimer’s Assocation and the Western Care Association. Participants will be urged to wear green and will be able to make a €20 donation to support the five charities. The trek will depart from Murrisk at midday on April 28, and Trap and Tardelli will be there to send off An Taoiseach and the Green Army.

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