Alan Judge’s Euro 2016 dream is almost certainly over after the midfielder broke his leg in Brentford’s 3-1 Championship win at Ipswich on Saturday.
Just two minutes passed when Judge was on the receiving end of what Bees boss Dean Smith described as a “naughty tackle” from Luke Hyam. The Ipswich midfielder was booked for the tackle and was later sent off for a second bookable offence. Judge received eight minutes of treatment before being taken from the field on a motorised stretcher. He was also given oxygen during that time.
Brentford later released a statement confirming Judge had suffered a fracture but said “the nature of his management and long-term prognosis cannot be speculated on at this time”.
But, even in the best-case scenario, a return in time for the Euros in two months’ time is surely out of the question.
The injury obviously represents a devastating blow for Judge who, until Saturday, had enjoyed a great season at Brentford, scoring 14 times and providing 11 assists.
His stellar campaign was noticed by Martin O’Neill and Judge finally made his senior Republic debut in the 1-0 win over Switzerland last month.
A place in the final 23-man squad for France looked attainable but that dream is surely over now. Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy disagreed with Smith’s view that Hyam should have got a straight red for the tackle but said he felt for Judge.
“I am disappointed Dean felt it should be a red. I didn’t even think it was a yellow,” McCarthy said. “But I do feel very sorry for Judgey. He is a great kid and a lovely player.”
Hyam insisted he never meant to hurt Judge.
“There was nothing malicious in the tackle and I hope Alan recovers quickly,” he said. “I’ve been out injured for a year myself and the last thing I want to see is a fellow pro getting injured like that. I would never wish that on anyone. I feel distraught over it. I just hope he’s back playing as soon as possible.”
Billy Clarke was the only Irish scorer in League One, his header giving Bradford a 1-0 win over Swindon.
In League Two, Michael Doyle scored in Portsmouth’s 4-1 win at Dagenham & Redbridge, Callum O’Dowda was among the scorers as Oxford United hammered Crawley 5-1 while Graham Carey netted in Plymouth’s 2-1 home to Wimbledon.
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