Gibson latest play-off doubt as Trap's injury woes pile up
DARRON GIBSON is in a race against time to take his place in the Ireland squad for the Euro 2012 play-off with Estonia.
The Derry-born midfielder was recalled after telling Giovanni Trapattoni that he was on the comeback trail from a broken toe.
However, it has emerged that the Manchester United midfielder returned to jogging only last week and the Old Trafford medical team believe that he has only a slim chance of making it back in time for the play-off games.
Even if he was fully fit, Gibson would have only an outside chance of coming into contention for the first leg in Tallinn on Friday week, with Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews favoured by Trapattoni.
Nevertheless, with Whelan on a yellow card, and Trapattoni preferring to use Gibson when Ireland are on home turf, the 24-year-old would be in the frame to be involved at some stage in the second leg.
Gibson played 90 minutes for Ireland in the friendly meeting with Croatia in Dublin.
He started the season out of the picture at Old Trafford after turning down a summer move to Sunderland and then picked up an injury in training to compound his misery.
John O'Shea, meanwhile, is waiting for the result of scans on his injured hamstring that will determine if he is fit for the Estonia encounter.
The Waterford man limped out of Sunderland's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa last Saturday after injuring the same hamstring that he damaged back in August.
Darren O'Dea is struggling with concussion, but it's anticipated that the Dubliner will recover in time to link up with the Irish squad.
O'Dea, who is on loan at Leeds from Celtic, banged his head in the Championship defeat to Birmingham last Wednesday. He was deemed fit to play against Cardiff last Sunday but had to come off after half an hour because he was suffering from blurred vision and dizziness.