Tuesday 12 December 2017

Hamstring 'tweak' for John O'Shea gives Martin O'Neill a scare

Sunderland's John O'Shea is treated for a hamstring injury before being brought off the field
Sunderland's John O'Shea is treated for a hamstring injury before being brought off the field
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

John O'Shea will require a scan to ascertain the extent of the hamstring injury he suffered in Sunderland's victory over Newcastle.

O'Shea is suspended for the first leg of Ireland's Euro 2016 play-off with Bosnia but Martin O'Neill will be keen to have the experienced centre-half available for the return tie, which is three weeks from today.

Sam Allardyce offered a positive bulletin afterwards, while stressing that an X-ray would tell the full story.

"We won't know until we scan him in a couple of days," said Allardyce. "He feels it's not a serious hamstring - he feels that it's what we call a tweak."

On the plus side for O'Neill, Marc Wilson made his first Stoke appearance in over a month when a setback for Geoff Cameron brought him into the Premier League encounter with Watford.

Unfortunately, the defender endured a rough day at the office as he got caught in possession for Watford's insurance goal.

Wilson carried a calf strain into the recent double-header with Germany and Poland and it ultimately cost him the chance for involvement.

O'Neill will be pleased that he came through his comeback unscathed, even if the rustiness was apparent.


Ciaran Clark is another option to fill O'Shea's shoes for the first leg - with Richard Keogh also in the equation - but the Aston Villa centre-half did not make Tim Sherwood's squad for his final game in charge.

Villa reported on Friday that Clark was available for selection following an injury-related lay-off.

He started the season well in Birmingham, and figured in Ireland's September fixtures with Gibraltar and Georgia, before losing his place in the side to transfer window recruit Joleon Lescott - Sherwood was duly criticised for that call when the experienced addition failed to inspire confidence.

James McClean stole the show from an Irish perspective on Saturday with the West Brom winger responding well to another controversial week by sending in the perfect cross for Jose Rondon's headed winner at Norwich.

Illness prevented Jeff Hendrick from contributing to Derby's success at Huddersfield in the Championship. David Meyler grabbed his second goal of the week by registering for Hull in their dismissal of Birmingham.

Meanwhile, form man Alan Judge notched his sixth of Brentford's campaign as Lee Carsley's charges brushed aside Charlton.

And, in League Two, ex-Limerick striker Rory Gaffney marked his first Cambridge start by scoring a brace at Yeovil.

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