Saturday 25 February 2017

Keane in fitness battle ahead of crucial Macedonia clash

David Kelly

David Kelly

Robbie Keane during yesterday's training in Malahide
Robbie Keane during yesterday's training in Malahide

Robbie Keane was last night in a fight to prove his fitness ahead of Ireland's crucial Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia.

The Irish captain received a hefty blow to his ankle in a training-ground clash with Damien Delaney ahead of the team's departure to Skopje yesterday afternoon.

Assistant Marco Tardelli, after consulting with Irish team medical staff, then reported that Ireland's record-breaking striker had suffered groin trouble during the session. However, it has been widely known that Keane has been suffering from Achilles trouble in recent weeks.

After arriving in the balmy Macedonian capital last night, the portents for the Irish captain, slated to start alongside the previously unheralded Simon Cox, appeared much more favourable.

"Robbie seems okay after the flight and will train tomorrow," reported an FAI spokesman.

The Irish camp also reported that Fulham defender Stephen Kelly has won his personal battle to start ahead of Paul McShane in the right-back berth.

Irish Independent

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