Saturday 19 October 2019

Keogh out until late next year as McCarthy faces crisis in defence

Richard Keogh. Photo: PA
Richard Keogh. Photo: PA

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Richard Keogh's faint hopes of making it to the Euro 2020 finals, should Ireland qualify, have been ended as the Derby County defender has been ruled out of action until December 2020.

The 33-year-old is still coming to terms with events of last Tuesday, when he suffered a serious knee injury and a broken wrist as a passenger in a car driven by a team-mate, who was later charged with drink-driving offences.

Keogh suffered anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament damage and is not expected to return to action until December 2020.

Keogh had played in every minute of every competitive game under Mick McCarthy since he took over as Ireland boss, and McCarthy will field questions about Keogh when he names his squad in Dublin today for the Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Georgia and Switzerland.

McCarthy has serious issues to deal with in defence as left-back Enda Stevens misses the Georgia game due to suspension, while Keogh's central defensive partner, Shane Duffy, has a calf injury.

Kevin Long (Burnley) and John Egan (Sheffield United) are likely to step in at centre-half but McCarthy needs back-up in the event of injury.

McCarthy will also have to decide if Robbie Brady and Shane Long, who both came on as late substitutes for their clubs last weekend, have done enough to win back their places in the Irish squad.

Irish Independent

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