Monday 20 November 2017

Harry Arter 'refusing to give up' on his bid to make Ireland's crunch World Cup qualifiers

Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter battling to be fit for World Cup duty after a calf injury
Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter battling to be fit for World Cup duty after a calf injury
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Harry Arter still has an outside chance of being fit for Ireland’s decisive World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales next month, Independent.ie understands.

Bournemouth midfielder Arter had scans on Monday to assess the extent of the calf injury that ruled him out of Saturday’s Premier League game against Everton, with the Ireland midfielder now expected to miss this weekend’s game against Leicester.

Yet we have been told that 27-year-old is determined to do all he can to play a role in Ireland’s final two Group D World Cup qualifiers, as he looks to bounce back from being dropped from Martin O’Neill’s for the game against Serbia earlier this month.

Arter paid the price for a poor performance in the 1-1 draw in Georgia as he was omitted from the Serbia game a few days later, yet eyebrows were raised as he was not among the substitutes used by O’Neill as Championship players Calum O’Dowda and Conor Hourihane were thrown into the fray ahead of Premier League star Arter.

While that snub was a big blow to a midfielder who is eager to establish himself as an Ireland regular, Arter is battling to be fit for the Moldova game at the Aviva Stadium on October 6th.

Bournemouth may be reluctant to release Arter for international duty if he fails to play in this weekend’s Premier League matche, but the FAI and O’Neill will have a right to assess the player with their own medical staff before deciding whether he is fit to play.

With Robbie Brady and James McClean suspended for the Moldova game, Arter would be a valuable asset to have in the Ireland squad, but he remains a major injury doubt for a qualifier that is less than two weeks away.

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