ROBBIE stepped out and then stepped in again but Giovanni Trapattoni won't mind the route his skipper took to get to the Emirates tonight. Against Brazil, it will be all hands to the pumps.
The Irish boss wanted this encounter with the Samba kings to shake his players loose from any lingering grip Thierry Henry might have had on their minds but with key men absent, it could well turn into a fight for survival.
With men like Kaka and Robinho available to Brazil coach Dunga, Trapattoni's back four of Stephen Kelly, Paul McShane, Sean St Ledger and Kevin Kilbane could be in for a torrid time.
"I hoped to put on the pitch the players who played the last game against France, but we are missing players.
"I am delighted to have Robbie back and we can still play well against Brazil," said Trapattoni after Ireland's final training session.
At that point in the day, Trapattoni was down three of the players who started in Paris and the return of Keane will certainly bolster morale and confidence - even if he can only play a limited role as is generally anticipated.
"It will be important for us that we play with the same mentality as we did against France and Italy - the same performance and the same attention.
"There will be more expectation because Brazil is a great team, their players are great opponents," said Trapattoni.
"Every player can score goals, they have so many creative and technical players. But I am confident because also today I saw our players were fresh."