Tuesday 17 January 2017

North play down Lafferty injury scare

Jamie Holland

Published 08/06/2016 | 02:30

Lafferty, who scored seven goals in qualification, injured himself stretching to make an interception during a public training session. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Lafferty, who scored seven goals in qualification, injured himself stretching to make an interception during a public training session. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Northern Ireland received a pre-Euros scare when Kyle Lafferty limped out of training yesterday, though manager Michael O'Neill insisted there are "no major concerns" over the key striker's groin problem.

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Lafferty (right), who scored seven goals in qualification, injured himself stretching to make an interception during a public training session. After going down on the pitch, he went inside for medical assessment and did not return for the rest of training.

O'Neill attempted to quell fears over Lafferty's fitness ahead of Sunday's opener against Poland.

"It's fine, it's precautionary, we have no major concerns there," O'Neill said. "It's a little twist, but on examination we don't expect any major issues at all. He just twisted it a little bit there when he slipped, the pitch is hard."

Lafferty had been withdrawn against Slovakia last Friday as a precaution over a calf problem; defender Craig Cathcart did not join the main group yesterday as he worked on a bike on the side.

Around 500 locals armed with Northern Ireland flags witnessed O'Neill's group put through their paces in the sunshine at their base just north of Lyon.

German defender Antonio Ruediger will miss Euro 2016 after tearing cruciate ligaments in his right knee during the squad's first training session at their base in Evian yesterday. Mats Hummels trained alone as he bids to overcome a leg injury.

Irish Independent

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