Tuesday 20 February 2018

​Robbie Keane anxious to find reason for mystery knee injury

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and Robbie Keane
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and Robbie Keane
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Sportsfile

Daniel McDonnell​

Robbie Keane is set to have his knee scoped to allay any fears that a mystery problem could pose any issues for Euro 2016.

Martin O'Neill says that his captain is quite relaxed about the ailment that forced him to miss Friday's win over Switzerland and tonight's game with Slovakia but he is keen to get to the bottom of his problem because he doesn't recall any incident in LA Galaxy's game with San Jose last weekend that might have caused the pain.

​"He was concerned about it because he doesn't remember exactly what happened," says O'Neill.

"It might have been a little bit of a knock and, of course, when that's not going away immediately, then you start getting a bit of a concern.

"He feels as if he might just get it scoped and have a little look around to see what it is. In this day and age, that doesn't take too long. I don't think he has got any real worries but obviously we will know when he goes back (to LA)."

Meanwhile, O'Neill says that the injury to Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland could open the door for Shay Given to get back into his Euros thoughts.

Given has just returned to full training with his club and O'Neill feels that the Donegal man now has a real opportunity to make up for being unavailable for this double header. He intends to speak with the 39-year-old for an update on his knee.

"It's unfortunate about the young goalkeeper and I'm not picking Stoke's team but if that does give Shay an opportunity to play regularly then of course it gives him a really good chance," said O'Neill.

Newcastle stopper Rob Elliot starts in goal tonight.

Irish Independent

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