Sunday 23 October 2016

Anxious times

Five Irish strikers now out injured and Whelan also a concern for O’Neill

Shane Long receives treatment during the match against Slovakia.
Shane Long receives treatment during the match against Slovakia.

Martin O'Neill is facing a anxious wait on his crocked players as his five main strikers - and midfield stalwart Glenn Whelan - are all in sick bay.

O'Neill has a six-week gap before the squad report to Dublin ahead of Euro 2016, but the centre forward positions will be a concern even at this early stage.

Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle and Jon Walters are all sidelined having undergone surgery in the last week, Daryl Murphy could be out for a fortnight with a calf problem, and now Shane Long is a worry.

"Shane Long had a game for Ireland and had a patellar tendon injury and he's doubtful for this Sunday," Saints manager Ronald Koeman said ahead of tomorrow's clash with Leicester.


Stoke boss Mark Hughes, who has to decide whether to play Shay Given tomorrow in place of the injured Jack Butland, will be without Whelan but he's upbeat on Walters' prospects after his operation on Tuesday.

"He will be back strong, and maybe he will be back before the end of the season. We hope he has no setbacks, and we don't envisage there being any," says Hughes.

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