Kilbane injury woe

Paul Hyland

MARCO Tardelli reported a clean bill of health for most of Ireland's key men but Kevin Kilbane was confined to barracks with a strained back.

Giovanni Trapattoni hinted that he would be making three changes from the side which drew with Croatia and many observers expect Stephen Ward to step in at left-full for Kilbane.

"Kevin felt something in his back and we told him to stay in the hotel and rest," said Tardelli.

"He pulled a muscle and he is resting as a precaution."

"I don't know what Giovanni is thinking about left-full. We have less options if Kevin is not fit but he has until Friday and then there's the game in Russia.

"Experience is important but so is energy. We have two games and maybe Kilbane has the experience we would need in Russia."