Belfast Telegraph

Hodgson: Long not fit for Ireland

Roy Hodgson has dismissed West Brom striker Shane Long's chances of making a recovery in time for the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 play-off with Estonia.

Hodgson is happy for Long to travel to Dublin and be assessed by the Irish medical staff, but he has ruled out Long's hopes of recovering from the knee injury suffered against Aston Villa 12 days ago for the two legs on November 11 and 15.

Albion's medical staff diagnosed a six week lay-off for the former Reading player. Hodgson said: "Shane is not fit to play. The two doctors are in contact with each other and the Irish doctor knows that he is making good progress and we are working hard with him."

He added: "But he is way off being fit to play a football match.

"If they want to prove that by inviting him over and sending him back again, that's okay with me.

"But there is no way unfortunately he will be fit to play for us at the weekend or for Ireland.

"In fact, there is a lot of work to be done if he is going to be fit to play after the international break."

Hodgson added: "Ireland might just want to see him anyway. To be fair, we've got the Monday off in this international break with a lot of players away.

"If Giovanni (Trapattoni) wants to see him and invite him over there, then fine, but there is no medical examination which will change what is an obvious verdict.

"It is going to take some time to heal. The initial suggestion was six weeks and Shane would like it to be quicker than that - but it certainly isn't going to be two weeks."


From Belfast Telegraph