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Hunt in fitness race for Euros

WOLVES have confirmed that Ireland star Stephen Hunt has a "good chance" of being fit for the end of the season and, crucially, the Euro 2012 finals.

The 30-year-old underwent surgery on a long-standing hernia injury in Germany yesterday and his club expect to see the Waterford native back in training next week, giving Hunt every chance of regaining fitness and his place in the Wolves team before the end of the Premier League season.

That's something he will need to do if he's to convince Giovanni Trapattoni to include him in Ireland's 23-man squad for the finals, which will be named next month.

Hunt is already playing catch-up as he's has not started a league game for his club since December.

"Stephen underwent minor surgery to address problems he had been having relating to a hernia he suffered last year," says Wolves doctor Steve Kemp.

"The surgery was extremely successful and, even within a few hours post-surgery, Stephen is reporting alleviation of some of the symptoms he had been suffering.

"We are confident that the operation will resolve all of the issues and, providing all goes well, Stephen should be able to return to some form of training by the end of next week.

"That will give him a good chance of being available for Wolves for a majority of the rest of the season as well as being available for the Republic of Ireland for the European Championships," he added.

Trapattoni is due to name his squad for the friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina on May 7 and that will effectively double as his panel for the finals in Poland, and Hunt will be keen to get some game time with his club before that crucial date to earn selection.


Meanwhile Stephen's brother has been told by his club boss not to give up hope of making it into that 23-man panel for the finals.

Noel is in superb form with promotion-chasing Reading and their manager, Brian McDermott, has told the striker that he could still sneak in.

"I've said to Noel, you've got to look at the Euros and do the best you can to give yourself the chance of making it," said McDermott of Noel, who won the last of his three senior caps against Montenegro in 2009.

"Noel is scoring goals and he's leading the line well with Jason Roberts, they are a very good combination. Noel's been in terrific form and is working extremely hard."