Robbie Keane will not start Ireland's friendly in Poland tomorrow and is facing up to the reality that surgery will be required to solve a troublesome Achilles problem.
The Ireland captain has travelled to Poznan and could be used as a second half substitute, but new manager Martin O'Neill will have to kickoff with a different striker as he prepares to make changes from the team which started his reign with a 3-0 win over Latvia last Friday.
"I wanted to come and it's not like I have a game on Saturday," said the Tallaght man, who will seek expert opinion after this international window and anticipates that surgery will be prescribed.
"After this week, I will see the specialist and hopefully get it all sorted out. There is definitely something that will have to be done and that [surgery] is likely it."
In Keane's absence, John O'Shea could deputise as captain but O'Neill admitted he was unsure if the Waterford man will start as he wants to assess his reserve of defensive options. Neither Alex Pearce or Sean St Ledger saw any action in the Latvian exercise.