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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 23 February, 2020

Setback rules Robbie Brady out of long-awaited Ireland return

The winger was expected to be named in Martin O’Neill’s squad after he featured for Burnley’s U23s.

Burnley's Robbie Brady.
Burnley's Robbie Brady.
Image: Mike Egerton

ROBBIE BRADY’S ABSENCE will last a little while longer after he suffered a setback in his recovery from an injury which has kept him out of competitive action since December.

After seemingly recovering from a knee problem, Brady was expected to be included in the Republic of Ireland squad for next month’s games against Denmark and Wales.

However, the 26-year-old was notably absent when Martin O’Neill announced his panel for the Uefa Nations League double-header this morning.

Brady made his comeback for Burnley last week by playing for the club’s U23 side. However, it has emerged that he since suffered a hamstring injury which will extend his lay-off.

“Robbie was going to be playing a game on Monday, which would have been good news for him. He had a bit of a setback the previous weekend,” O’Neill explained.

“Sean [Dyche, Burnley manager] told me that every time he looks as if he’s getting close to fitness, he has had a bit of a setback. When you’re recovering from a serious injury you’ll pick up niggles along the way. It almost inevitably happens. That’s the case with Robbie.”

Everton midfielder James McCarthy isn’t yet ready to return after suffering a double leg-fracture in January. Jonathan Walters is a long-term absentee after recently sustaining an achilles injury. His Burnley team-mate Stephen Ward is out with a knee problem.

Perhaps the most significant loss for O’Neill is captain Seamus Coleman. According to the Ireland boss, a foot injury will prevent the Everton full-back from returning to training until the end of the month.

“He’s a massive [loss],” O’Neill said. “He really is. He’s a big player for us, obviously — a truly world-class player. We cannot really afford to lose the player. We lost him for the World Cup qualifying games, a major loss to us, and this is a loss again. But we have to overcome it.”

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Paul Dollery

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