SAY a fond farewell to Kevin Kilbane, whose international career is over following a back injury which rules him out for the season and Euro 2012.
Kilbane finally let go of his hope that Poland and Ukraine would provide the perfect backdrop to his final road trip with Ireland when he went for surgery on the back injury which turned up during training in Malahide before the Slovakia-Russia double header.
"I am devastated but pleased that the operation this week seems to have been a success," said Kilbane. "I didn't hold out much hope of making the squad anyway if I am honest, after missing out on the last couple of squads through injury
"But obviously I was still hoping that I would be in contention and would be able to put a string of performances together at club level to give the manager something to think about.
"I wish I could have gone, obviously. We have waited a long time to get back into a major finals and I am sorry I won't be with the lads," he added.
"But my health is more important and I have been in agony for months and needed to get it sorted."
Kilbane will make no immediate decision about his playing future and will wait before making any decision about retirement.
"Yeah, of course it has crossed my mind but we will just have to see how it goes," the 34-year-old added.
"My first thought is to get fit, get playing again and give it a really good go.
"I'm just gutted that it won't be in time to be fit for the end of the season, and maybe given Mr Trapattoni something to think about."