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Thursday 12 December 2019

December 2020 return date for injured Keogh

Richard Keogh
Richard Keogh

Richard Keogh's faint hopes of making it to the Euro 2020 finals, should Ireland qualify, have been ended as the Derby County defender has been ruled out of action until December 2020.

The 33-year-old is still coming to terms with events of last Tuesday, when he suffered a serious knee injury and a broken wrist as a passenger in a car driven by a Derby County team-mate, who was later charged with drink-driving offences.

Keogh was initially ruled out of action for the rest of the club season, though there was a suggestion that he might be fit to return close to the end of the Championship campaign and would try to play his way into contention for the Euro finals.

But now it's been revealed that Keogh suffered anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament damage and is not expected to return to action until December 2020, effectively ending his international career.

Keogh had played in every minute of every competitive game under Mick McCarthy since he took over as Ireland boss and McCarthy will field questions about Keogh when he names his squad in Dublin today for the Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Georgia and Switzerland.

Issues

McCarthy has serious issues to deal with in defence as left back Enda Stevens misses the Georgia game due to suspension while Keogh's central defensive partner, Shane Duffy, has been ruled out with a calf injury.

Assistant manager Terry Connor has watched Blackburn Rovers in recent weeks, keeping tabs on their three Irish defenders (Greg Cunningham, Darragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams) and the trio, all uncapped at competitive level, will come into consideration.

Kevin Long (Burnley) and John Egan (Sheffield United) are likely to step in at centre-half but McCarthy needs back up in the event of injury.

McCarthy will also have to decide if Robbie Brady and Shane Long, who both came on as late substitutes for their clubs last weekend, have done enough to win back their places in the Irish squad.

Both were omitted for the September games against Switzerland and Bulgaria, as was James McCarthy (Crystal Palace).

Aaron Connolly (19) will be in McCarthy's thoughts after a number of Premier League appearances for Brighton but he's expected to stay with Stephen Kenny's U21 squad for their Euro qualification double-header against Italy and Iceland.

Kenny, back at work after illness, names his squad tomorrow.

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