Saturday 23 September 2017

No Euro fears for Robbie Keane as Bruce Arena predicts swift return

Keane was forced to sit out Ireland’s recent pair of friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia with knee trouble which required the Ireland captain to undergo surgery last week. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
Keane was forced to sit out Ireland’s recent pair of friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia with knee trouble which required the Ireland captain to undergo surgery last week. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

LA Galaxy boss Bruce Arena expects Robbie Keane to be back in action inside a month after what he described as a 'normal' knee operation last week.

Arena's update has removed any lingering doubt about the impact that the Ireland skipper's procedure could have on his involvement in Euro 2016.

The Galaxy manager said that Keane required treatment to tidy up some cartilage problems - his fellow striker Jon Walters also went under the knife for issues in the same department.

"He needed it; he had some loose pieces in his knee and needed to have those removed. It's a fairly normal [occurrence]," said Arena.

"It's cartilage and a lot of players have some type of issue with their knees at some point. He should be fine. I'd say in close to a month, he'll be back to full speed."

Jeff Hendrick is the latest player to provide some cause for concern ahead of Euro 2016 after it emerged that a thigh strain is going to rule him out of club duty for the foreseeable future.

Suffered

The Derby midfielder has suffered a muscle tear and it means he will have to sit out the next phase of his team's promotion tilt. He missed their 4-0 win over Hull last night, a victory that leaves them in sixth spot - four clear of seventh-placed Cardiff in the race for a play-off spot.

Derby supremo Darren Wassall has indicated that he expects Hendrick to return before the end of the season. If his employers' make the play-offs, Hendrick could face a hectic schedule when he comes back that would place strain on his body in the period building up to France.

"We thought he had suffered a thigh strain on Friday but a scan has revealed a small tear," said Wassall, "So, he will be missing for the next few games and we're in the hands of the medics.

"He's not going to be fit this week or next week but will be back before the end of the season."

In a congested division, it was a good night for Chris Hughton's Brighton who won at Birmingham to move within two points of leaders Burnley who could only draw at home to Cardiff. Second-placed Middlesbrough are a point off the pace after thrashing Huddersfield.

Shay Given is on the way back after coming through an U-21 appearance for Stoke on Monday.

They used the veteran 'keeper as one of their overage players and he impressed in his first outing since Ireland's famous win over Germany last October - he damaged his knee in that fixture.

Given made a number of saves in the first half of an away game at West Ham, but the night ended on a low point when the Hammers scored an injury-time penalty.

Irish Independent

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