Ireland ’keeper to miss Macedonia tie but Keane hopes to lead from front
SHAY GIVEN has been ruled out of next month's Euro 2012 qualifier with Macedonia, but Robbie Keane has told Giovanni Trapattoni he is hopeful of recovering in time for the Aviva Stadium encounter.
A miserable campaign for Given deteriorated further last week when he injured his shoulder in the warm-up ahead of Manchester City's Europa League tie with Aris Salonika.
His club manager, Roberto Mancini, indicated over the weekend that it was a recurrence of the problem which struck the Donegal man last year and resulted in a lengthy absence.
The 34-year-old was to see a specialist this week, yet the FAI have confirmed that the netminder is out of the March 26 clash with the Macedonians. "I am disappointed that Shay will not be able to make it for the Macedonia qualifier due to a shoulder injury," said Trapattoni in a statement issued by the association.
"Shay's presence in the squad has always been extremely important and he will certainly be missed. That said, we have good options in Keiren Westwood and Joe Murphy."
The Irish management will be praying that Given will be back for the return fixture in the heat of Skopje at the beginning of June.
Coventry's Westwood, his likely replacement, is untried competitively at international level.
Trapattoni issued a slightly more positive bulletin with respect to Keane, who was struck down by a calf injury just two matches into what was intended to be a fresh start at West Ham.
The initial prognosis issued by the Hammers suggested he was in real danger of missing the Aviva game, but the Irish manager had a positive chat with his skipper.
"I have been in touch with Robbie and he is hopeful that he can be back in time for the Macedonia game, which we will very much welcome," said Trapattoni. "He is doing everything he can to get fit and we will continue to monitor his progress closely."