Martin O’Neill’s attacking options for the decisive Euro 2016 qualifiers have been hit with confirmation that Kevin Doyle will miss the Republic of Ireland October showdowns with Germany and Poland.
The Colorado striker picked up an adductor injury last week on his return to MLS duty from the last international break and the club have now confirmed that he could be facing as much as a month on the sidelines.
O’Neill included Doyle in the 40-man squad he named last Thursday for the crucial final pair of qualification matches against the top two teams in Group D in just over a fortnight’s time.
However his club now see all but no chance of the former Wolves and Reading frontman making the trans-Atlantic trip.
“It’s an adductor and it’s a bad strain. From what he told me, that’s the first time he’s experienced any injury like this,” Colorado manager Pablo Mastroeni confirmed.
“He was very nervous when he heard it pop. But having said that, he’s started jogging already so that’s a small positive sign.
“He’s reacting well to treatment and we’re hoping we may get him back before (MLS) season’s end (in November). Three-to-four weeks would be the ideal timeline.”
With Joachim Low’s world champions coming to Dublin on October 8 and the concluding qualifier in Warsaw three days later, that timeline gives Doyle no chance of making it back in time.
While the 32-year-old hasn’t made an appearance for the national team in almost a year now, his return to form Stateside saw him brought back into the fold for the back-to-back victories against Gibraltar and Georgia earlier this month.
Captain Robbie Keane and Jonathan Walters were O’Neill’s preferred pairing for those games with Shane Long twice coming from the bench.
After that trio, however, the Ireland manager’s options are worryingly threadbare.
With 14 international goals in 61 Ireland games, Doyle is the second most prolific international in the 40-man squad while the other five strikers named — Adam Rooney, David McGoldrick, Anthony Stokes, Daryl Murphy and Simon Cox — combine for just 57 caps and four goals, all of them scored by Cox.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved