Tuesday 27 September 2016

Downbeat Jonathan Walters reveals how he played through pain barrier for 62 minutes

Published 13/06/2016 | 19:50

Jon Walters of Republic of Ireland applauds the supporters as he walks off the pitch after replaced during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Republic of Ireland and Sweden at Stade de France on June 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Jon Walters of Republic of Ireland applauds the supporters as he walks off the pitch after replaced during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Republic of Ireland and Sweden at Stade de France on June 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Ireland's Jonathan Walters is now a major doubt for the remainder of Ireland's Euro 2016 journey after his achilles injury flared up in the 1-1 draw with Sweden at the Stade de France.

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The Stoke City forward had been struggling with the injury in the last few weeks and was only deemed fit after successfully coming through training on Saturday.

Walters was replaced by James McClean after 63 minutes and Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has cast a serious doubt over his continued involvement in the tournament with games against Belgium and Italy to come in the next 10 days.

"Jon Walters – it's not great – I would be concerned about him," he said.

"He felt his Achilles but saw it through – we will check him in the morning, he is being checked now as we speak, but I would be concerned."

Speaking on RTE, Walter revealed that he aggravated the injury in the first minute and was unable to sprint or jump given the severity of the pain.

A visibly downbeat Walters now faces a race against time to play any further part in the competition.

Asked how it felt, he said: “Not great. I sort of felt it I think after one minute and couldn't really sprint or jump so it wasn't great. I just sort of got through hoping that it would settle down.

“In the second half, after a couple of runs, it just tightened up even worse. I think the right thing was to come off and hopefully it will settle down and be okay.

“It just depends how it settles down. It's not as worse as when I first hurt so we'll see. I could play but I was nowhere near 100%, that I felt out there. But before the game, in the training I felt okay.

“All the training was good in the past couple of days and pain free. It's just one of those things.

“We'll see how it settles down in the next couple of days. It was just over a week ago when I hurt it and it's nowhere near as sore as that so I can play a certain amount like I did today, I just didn't feel 100%

“We'll take it day by day and see what it's like tomorrow morning and go from there.”

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