Ben Blake reports from Turner’s Cross in Cork
IRELAND CAPTAIN ROBBIE Keane has emerged as a serious doubt for Euro 2016.
The country’s all-time record caps holder and goalscorer is no longer first choice for the Boys in Green but was expected to be named in Martin O’Neill’s 23-man squad tomorrow night.
However, 35-year-old Keane, who was an unused substitute in Friday’s 1-1 with the Netherlands at the Aviva Stadium, picked up a calf injury on Saturday.
The team trained at Turner’s Cross this afternoon ahead of their final warm-up game against Belarus on Tuesday and LA Galaxy striker sat in the stands after receiving an injection.
O’Neill confirmed that Keane will play no part in that match and he is now in danger of missing the European championships.
“We did some training on Saturday morning and he felt his calf at the end of training so we’re just taking it on a daily basis,” O’Neill said at the home of Cork City.
“He won’t play tomorrow night in the game. I don’t think it’s worth risking that, but he’s a quick healer so we’ll see how it goes.
“For the most part, you don’t mind taking a risk with one or two but you don’t want to be going in with a host of players where fitness is a concern. That wouldn’t be good to anyone.
“He’s the captain of the side and he has been playing since he picked up an injury about six or seven weeks ago, and he is also a pretty quick healer.”
O’Neill added that he will have a better idea of Keane’s chances in 24 hours and the Derryman has also confirmed that Kevin Doyle is on standby.
Doyle was due to link up with the squad after lining out for the Colorado Rapids over the weekend but O’Neill instead decided to tell him not to travel.
“Kevin hasn’t arrived in the door at the moment,” he added. “I spoke to him at the weekend and said he’s on standby. At least he got the game at the weekend which is a good thing. Daryl Murphy has to play here in a game to prove his fitness as he hasn’t played in a little while.
Kevin is there on standby but who knows? Depending on what happens tomorrow night he could easily be called into the squad.”
Meanwhile, James McCarthy trained separately as he attempts to regain full fitness, while Harry Arter will go for a scan after pulling up with a thigh problem today.
“James did a little bit on his own today with Dan our fitness man,” explained O’Neill. “The reports are he is feeling a wee bit better from a couple of days before.
“It’s one of those things that we will have to look at on a daily basis. I say on a daily basis but we don’t really have that many days left. “I think there is optimism around, I’m hoping that’s the case.
“Just before you came in, he (Arter) just came off with a thigh injury. That’s quite new and I don’t know what the situation is there. He will get scanned on that very shortly and Alan our doctor will let us know.”
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