Monday 23 October 2017

Brady to miss qualifiers as King rules out Ireland return

Robbie Brady is out for the next two Ireland games, having aggravated a hernia problem
Robbie Brady is out for the next two Ireland games, having aggravated a hernia problem

Garry Doyle

ROBBIE BRADY is definitely out of Ireland's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan.

Ireland's interim boss Noel King witnessed the Hull City winger net his fourth goal of the campaign on Saturday, a penalty winner against West Ham United. However, King left the KC Stadium aware that his former Ireland U-21 skipper had aggravated an ongoing hernia problem and won't be at his disposal for the double-header against the Germans in Cologne on Friday week and the Kazakhs the following Tuesday.

As he did for Saturday's game, Brady will take a painkilling injection to get him through this weekend's visit of Aston Villa.

The 21-year-old is then due to visit a specialist about the condition, with surgery provisionally scheduled for next week during the international window.

A typical lay-off from such an operation is estimated at seven to 10 days, meaning Brady should be available for the Tigers' next Premier League game against Everton on October 19.

The official diagnosis of hernia trouble was made known last month, with Brady's club manager Steve Bruce revealing just last week that he was still hopeful that surgery might be avoided.

That was until Brady stretched to cut out a cross by compatriot Joey O'Brien shortly before half-time in Saturday's game. The shooting pain he experienced confirmed the lay-off he'd already resigned himself to.

Meanwhile, caretaker manager King has opted against including Stephen Ireland for the qualifiers, but Darron Gibson is tipped for an international return.

After six years, two dead – but thankfully fully recovered – grannies, a change of manager and change of hairstyle, there had been hopes that the midfielder's self-imposed exile from the Ireland scene was about to end. However, that is not yet the case.

Ireland has suggested that he might come back when the FAI appoint a permanent replacement for Giovanni Trapattoni, but he has made similar noises before and clearly had to put forward a stronger argument to convince King to take a punt.

Instead, the interim boss has acted conservatively. Last Friday, Stoke received a fax from the FAI confirming that Marc Wilson, Jon Walters and Glenn Whelan were required to report for duty in the double-header. Ireland's name was conspicuous by its absence.

Similarly, it's highly unlikely that Kevin Doyle and Andy Reid will be returning. Gibson, however, looks set to be included. King watched him play last week and the Everton midfielder has managed to persuade the stand-in boss, both with his actions on the park and his words off it, that he deserves another shot.

The situation surrounding Anthony Stokes remains unclear. He and King developed a close relationship during their brief time together in the Ireland U-21 set-up, but neither Celtic nor the FAI have offered any information on whether the striker will be included when the squad is named today.

Ironically, the one certainty surrounds a man who has generated so much uncertainty.

Six years on from the night he told Steve Staunton he wanted to return home from Slovakia, rather than travel with the rest of the Irish squad to Prague for a crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against the Czech Republic, Ireland, the player, remains estranged from Ireland, the country.

In his interview with a Sunday newspaper, though, Ireland did suggest that he will make a decision, one way or the other, in the new year.

Ireland's team-mate Walters' impressive run of 95 consecutive Premier League starts is at risk of coming to an end after the 29-year-old picked up a groin injury in the defeat to Norwich.

Replaced at half-time, Walters is due to undergo a scan today and if the results reveal damage, then he'll miss Saturday's trip to Fulham and Ireland's World Cup double-header.

That would represent a further blow for King, given that he is already without John O'Shea and Richard Dunne for the game in Cologne.

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