Donall Farmer/INPHO Walters coming off the pitch at the Stade de France.
# Setback
'It was sore after the first minute' - Walters doubtful for Belgium after playing through the pain barrier
The Ireland forward lasted 64 minutes this evening but Martin O’Neill is concerned that he won’t be available for next weekend.

- Ben Blake reports from the Stade de France, Saint-Denis

IT WAS ALWAYS going to be a risk starting Jon Walters tonight.

Having only returned to full training in the past couple of days due to tendonitis in his Achilles, Martin O’Neill named the Stoke City man in his line-up for the Euro 2016 opener with Sweden at the Stade de France.

Walters played 64 minutes before being replaced by James McClean, but admitted afterwards that he was playing through the pain barrier virtually from kick-off.

“I was sore after the first minute,” Walters said after the final whistle. “Training was good the past couple of days but I felt nowhere near 100% after the first minute or so.

“I was struggling to sprint and jump but I got through the first half. I made a couple of runs in the second half and it tightened right up.

I think the right thing was to come off and let’s see how it settles down the next couple of days.

“I was trying to get through it and see if it settled down but it didn’t really. It was still sore. I tried to do my part in the second half and made a few runs in behind.

“If I was 100% I would have easily got on the end of a couple.”

In his post-match press conference, O’Neill expressed a degree of worry about the situation and Walters could now miss the second Group E game — against Belgium in Bordeaux on Saturday.

“Jon’s not great,” said O’Neill. “I would be concerned about it. He said he felt his Achilles quite early on in the match, but he saw it through to that particular time.

“We’ll have to see. We’ll check him in the morning again. He’s being checked now as I speak, but it would be a concern for us.

Listen to The42′s Ben Blake on the 98FM Euro 2016 Daily podcast throughout the tournament 

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