JOHN O'SHEA has seven days to prove his Euro 2012 fitness, or else Paul McShane will be officially drafted into Giovanni Trapattoni's squad.
The Ireland manager has told O'Shea that he must play in Monday's friendly with Hungary in Budapest.
Fellow defender Kevin Foley has been set the same ultimatum, but he is ahead of the Sunderland man in terms of his well-being and returned to full training in Italy last night after the team landed in Tuscany for their week-long camp.
Shay Given is confident he will return to training this week, so the major defensive question mark now hangs over O'Shea.
Ireland arrived in Italy with a squad of 24. Paul Green was on board after Keith Fahey was ruled out on Saturday when his groin issue flared up. McShane is travelling as cover.
"I preserved John on Saturday,"said Trapattoni, "With Given, it was the same. I said no, we cannot run the risk. But in Hungary, he must be fit. He thinks he can play.
"We have come with O'Shea and Foley.With a doubt around them, they need to play in Hungary, or else we can change."
Ireland play a friendly against a Tuscan selection in Pistoia tomorrow.