Sunday 15 September 2019

Matt Doherty hopeful that surgery will only keep him out of Swiss clash

Matt Doherty. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Matt Doherty. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

David Sneyd and Daniel McDonnell

Matt Doherty says he hopes to return to 100pc fitness after the upcoming international break, after the Ireland defender confirmed that he will not have an operation on his knee but will instead go under the knife for an "unrelated personal surgery".

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo revealed after yesterday's 3-2 defeat to Everton that Doherty would miss the Euro 2020 qualifier with Switzerland in order to have an operation, mentioning "the pain in his knee" as the reason for his absence at Goodison Park.

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy was informed prior to kick-off that Doherty would be unavailable for duty and, while yesterday's official team news update from the FAI cited a knee injury, Doherty said: "I'm not going. I'll be staying here. There are a few things I need to have done health-wise.

Resting

"It's more of a case of just resting it (the knee) and get the right rehab and recovery on it and seeing what happens.

"There are still bits lingering so we'll see how we get on.

"It's difficult at the moment, I'm finding it tough. I need to get two weeks of good work in," he added. "It's frustrating because after last season I wanted to kick on and go again, but it's been stop-start.

"That's why I need to make sure I'm 100pc. I missed quite a bit of pre-season and hopefully, by the time the international break is over, I'll be 100pc."

McCarthy has delivered another snub to Shane Long after opting to call in Luton's James Collins to replace the injured Seán Maguire ahead of Thursday's showdown with the Swiss in Dublin.

Preston's Maguire is out of the equation with an eye problem arising from a freak accident in training when a ball struck him in the face

Long's omission from the original squad was a talking point, with McCarthy preferring David McGoldrick, Callum Robinson, Scott Hogan and Maguire - all of whom are yet to score at international level.

Southampton striker Long hasn't started a game for his club this term but he did come off the bench against Manchester United on Saturday, with the unavailability of Irish U-21 squad member Michael Obafemi getting him into the match-day squad.

However, McCarthy has turned to Luton forward Collins, who was on target in his side's win over Huddersfield. He will train with the group today. The 29-year-old has scored three goals in six outings for the newly-promoted side.

Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy has pulled out of the squad after a chat with the manager reached the conclusion that the game has come too soon after his recovery from injury.

He made his first competitive start of 2019 in last week's League Cup tie with Colchester.

"James (McCarthy) is completely free of injury but the intensity of the Switzerland game was always going to be too much for James and we discussed that," said McCarthy.

Back-up goalkeeper Keiren Westwood also misses out due to a knee ailment. McCarthy has called up Manchester United's Kieran O'Hara - who is on loan at Burton - to replace Westwood and Fulham's Cyrus Christie for Doherty.

Irish Independent

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