O'Shea adds to Ireland woes
Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni is facing a growing injury crisis after defender John O'Shea was ruled out of Tuesday's tough Euro 2012 qualifier in Russia.
The 30-year-old Sunderland man had to admit defeat in his battle to shake off calf and hip injuries after training in Malahide on Sunday morning and was not among the squad as it prepared to leave for Moscow on Sunday afternoon.
O'Shea's withdrawal was confirmed in a statement from the Football Association of Ireland. It said: "The Football Association of Ireland today confirmed that following medical examination, John O'Shea has been declared unfit to take part in Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Russia.
"John was suffering from a calf and hip strain and will return to his club later this evening."
The news came as a fresh blow to Trapattoni, who last week lost Kevin Kilbane and striker Shane Long to back and calf injuries respectively, and with winger Aiden McGeady and frontman Kevin Doyle struggling for full match fitness after lengthy lay-offs, the 72-year-old Italian's problems were mounting as he left Dublin.
Keeper Shay Given underwent a scan on the back strain which has hampered him since he joined up with the squad last weekend, although he was on the plane.
But Trapattoni and his staff were also nursing skipper Robbie Keane and inspirational defender Richard Dunne through the after-effects of their exertions against the Slovakians.
Assistant manager Marco Tardelli was putting on a brave face.
He said: "They rested again, but I think for the match, they will be fit. They have a little pain, but that's normal after a tough match."
Asked specifically about Given's chances, Tardelli said: "I don't know. He is with the doctors having a scan, but I expect him to play if he can."