Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has a couple of injury concerns to contend with ahead of this Saturday’s World Cup play-off first leg against Denmark.
With the squad now in training in Dublin ahead of their flight to Copenhagen on Thursday, defender Stephen Ward and midfielder Jeff Hendrick have been forced to sit out training on Tuesday morning.
With James McCarthy, Sean Maguire and Richard Keogh all having to withdraw from the squad recently (as well as more long-term absentees Seamus Coleman and Jon Walters), fresh injury doubts were the last thing that O’Neill would have wanted to occur.
O’Neill had been discussing Hendrick’s issue on Monday, vaguely stating that the Burnley man had an injury “somewhere on his body” (since flagged by RTE as a lower back problem) having been replaced just after the hour mark in the Clarets’ Premier League win over Southampton at the weekend.
The manager does, however, remain optimistic that the problem will have cleared up by Saturday.
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Ward, meanwhile, has apparently been left out of Tuesday’s session as a precaution. The fellow Burnley man has been playing a lot of football recently between his club and country commitments, and as such as been rested with fatigue for the time being.
Whether either player will train on Wednesday remains to be seen, but O’Neill clearly isn’t planning on being without them at the Telia Parken just yet.