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Who's here, who's not, and who's carrying a knock? The latest from Ireland's training camp

Martin O’Neill took charge of his first training session of the week in Malahide this morning.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

MARTIN O’NEILL GAVE his squad a relatively clean bill of health as the Republic of Ireland began preparations for their crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland.

There were reduced numbers for this morning’s first training session in Malahide with James McCarthy, Darron Gibson and Stephen Ward all watching from the sidelines.

Stoke duo Jon Walters and Marc Wilson fly in to link up the squad this afternoon as do Shane Long, David Meyler and new call-up Harry Arter, while Robbie Keane, who played and scored for the LA Galaxy on Saturday, is due to arrive later this evening.

Source: Major League Soccer/YouTube

O’Neill has already whittled his provisional 35-man panel down to 29. David McGoldrick, Anthony Pilkington and Jeff Hendrick were all ruled out through injury on Sunday while Paul Green, Simon Cox and Rob Elliot were the unlucky three to miss the final cut.

McCarthy was given the morning to recover after he played the full 90 in Everton’s win against QPR — his fourth club game in 10 days — while Gibson rested ”a bit of a groin problem.”

For now, Ward appears to be the most pressing concern following a set-back in his recovery from an ankle injury

“Steven had a little bit of difficulty,” O’Neill explained. “He’s coming back from an injury and it will be looked at again this evening with the club’s permission as well and we might have to do something with that.

“He’s just hoping that two or three days on, he’ll be ok.”

There was good news on both Walters (fractured cheekbone) and Robbie Brady (calf) as well following their recent injuries.

Robbie Brady Robbie Brady trained in Malahide this morning. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“Jon’s pretty upbeat as well too. He’s got a mask, he played for the last minutes of the Stoke game and did well even to put himself forward for the game.

“There’s another week but I think he’ll be feeling fine.”

On Brady, he added: “He’s come through that work today and while it wasn’t long, it was pretty intense, so for someone who has had a calf problem, it was fine.

He feels fine at the time but of course, it’s absolutely right to think that in terms of match fitness the amount of football he has played in the last three or four weeks might present a problem. Overall he’s a pretty fit lad.

With the game not falling until Sunday, this morning’s session marked the beginning of a slightly longer international camp.

“For players who have played a lot of games at this time of the year, sometimes rest is more important,” O’Neill explained.

“By the same token we’ll have to do some work, particularly at set pieces, go through those. For some of the other players who haven’t done that much, they’d obviously like to do a bit more.

“It’s balancing it all and hopefully by the end of the week we’ll have got the balance right.”

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Niall Kelly

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