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Rep of Ireland v Austria: Keane sweating over James McClean's fitness

By Daniel McDonnell

Published 09/11/2016

Setback: James McClean has developed a back problem
Setback: James McClean has developed a back problem

James McClean has emerged as a major worry for the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier in Austria with Roy Keane admitting he is concerned that a back injury could hinder the winger.

The former Derry City man scored twice in Moldova last month and is an important part of Martin O'Neill's preparations for Saturday's crucial Vienna encounter because of a growing injury list. The loss of Shane Long and Daryl Murphy has weakened O'Neill's attacking options and Robbie Brady could be required at left-back because of Stephen Ward's unavailability.

The Irish camp are now waiting on the results of a scan on a setback that McClean picked up while at West Brom.

Keane said: "It's not good. I never like when I hear injuries in around the back area. It's not a good area. If you said to me he got a kick on his knee or ankle, that's fine. But tweaks in backs, I don't like the sound of it."

John O'Shea missed yesterday's proceedings in Abbotstown but is expected to be present at this morning's training session.

Eunan O'Kane sat out with a groin problem while Kevin Doyle only played a small part after flying in from Colorado and Dundalk duo Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan were given a rest.

Belfast Telegraph

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