Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Ireland hit by withdrawals

Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland squad has been hit by injuries

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni is facing the prospect of having to piece together a team for a daunting World Cup qualifier against Germany.

The 73-year-old Italian has been hit by a series of withdrawals through injury and will head into Friday's clash with the Group C favourites in Dublin without six of the men who started the 2-0 defeat by Italy in their final Euro 2012 fixture, with Shay Given and Damien Duff having retired and Sean St Ledger, Glenn Whelan, James McClean and Kevin Doyle having joined Richard Dunne on the casualty list.

McClean's absence was confirmed on Monday when the Football Association of Ireland revealed that a scan on Wearside had revealed a hip flexor strain which will prevent the Sunderland winger from playing against the Germans and could yet keep him out of next Tuesday's trip to the Faroe Islands.

A spokesman said: "The results of James McClean's scan this morning in Sunderland showed a grade one hip flexor strain which will certainly rule him out for the Germany match and may exclude him for the Faroe Islands.

"McClean will remain at his club to receive treatment."

He was swiftly, and not unexpectedly, joined on the sidelines by St Ledger and Whelan when scans confirmed the full extent of the hamstring injuries the pair suffered on club duty with Leicester and Stoke respectively over the weekend.

The spokesman said: "Further to scans earlier in the day, both Sean St Ledger and Glenn Whelan have been confirmed as out of both matches against Germany and the Faroe Islands."

As a result, Trapattoni has drafted Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark into the squad with Sunderland's David Meyler and Manchester United's Robbie Brady having already joined up as additional players.

The Italian boss has also stressed he is simply not prepared to run the risk of starting a player who may break down within minutes of kick-off in such a big game.

"I can't speak as doctor - I am manager. But muscle injuries need time, time, time," Trapattoni said. "You don't want a player to play 10, 15, 20, 70 minutes and then have hamstring injury again. I don't want to take risks."

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