ROBBIE KEANE is a major injury concern for Ireland and Tottenham ahead of a massive two games in Europe for his club and country in the space of ten days.
Keane didn't even make the bench for Tottenham's league clash with Stoke City on Saturday, the Ireland captain reportedly suffering from an ankle injury, and remains doubtful for Spurs' Champions League tie with Young Boys Bern tomorrow night.
Spurs are facing a real injury crisis up front as Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe are also injury doubts for a game they need to win to save their Champions League dream.
Ireland's London-based assistant manager Marco Tardelli will be keeping a very close eye on the tie as injuries have left Ireland very short of cover up front for the start of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign in Armenia on Friday week.
If Keane is unable to prove his fitness for the Young Boys game or Saturday's league clash with Wigan, it would put a question mark over his participation in the Armenia tie, while he is also battling to save his longterm future at White Hart Lane amid fresh reports that Harry Redknapp may yet try and offload the Tallaght man.
Injuries to Caleb Folan, Leon Best and Noel Hunt forced Tardelli to name just three strikers in the 25-man squad for the qualifiers against Armenia and Andorra. It's expected that Cillian Sheridan – who made his league debut for CSKA Sofia on Sunday night – and Anthony Stokes could be called up to the senior panel from the U21 squad.
It's going to be an anxious few days for Trapattoni as a number of his key players are unsettled due to injury or transfer speculation. The Irish squad report for duty in Dublin next Monday but as the UK transfer window closes on Tuesday, some of his players may have their arrival in Dublin delayed for transfer reasons.
Three players who are likely to start the game in Yerevan – Shay Given, Keith Andrews and Aiden McGeady – have not played for their clubs so far this season, while four more members of the starting XI – Keane, Kevin Doyle, Glenn Whelan and Sean St Ledger – have had their seasons interrupted by injury. Liam Lawrence, Robbie Keane and Andy Keogh, meanwhile, are three players in the Irish squad who may be on the move early next week.