Sunday 22 April 2018

Nervous wait for injury doubt Cunningham ahead of Turkey trip

Greg Cunningham. Photo: Sportsfile
Greg Cunningham. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Greg Cunningham's return to international football is in jeopardy due to a hamstring problem.

The Galwegian has been extremely unlucky with the timing of injuries around call-ups to the international squad.

And bad luck struck again last weekend when he was forced off at half-time in play-off-chasing Preston's defeat to Fulham.

His manager Alex Neil says Cunningham is a doubt for their Championship encounter with Sunderland tomorrow.

That could have an impact on his availability for next week's trip to Turkey for a training camp.

The 27-year-old has made just 14 appearances this season after serious hamstring damage in August condemned him to a spell on the sidelines. He will be carefully monitored by his employers after a new complaint.

"Greg felt his hamstring," said Neil. "That is something which is ongoing and we will have to keep our eye on it."

O'Neill has left Stephen Ward out of the squad for Turkey which opened the door for another player to make an impression.

Sheffield United's Enda Stevens and Blackburn's Derrick Williams are also in the provisional 30-man panel so even a minor setback could be unfortunate for any of the contenders as they are all important players for their clubs heading into a vital part of the season.

Meanwhile, Brentford's Alan Judge has admitted he was surprised to get the call from O'Neill as he continues his steady recovery from the horror leg break in 2016 that ended up sidelining him for 20 months.

Judge was vying for a place in the Euros squad when he was struck down and the 29-year-old has been restricted to sub appearances since coming back into first-team action in January. In that context, the Turkey call from O'Neill gave him a lift.

"Seeing my name in that squad I'm thinking, 'Martin must like something about me'. It gave me great confidence," Judge told the Keith Andrews show on Offtheball.com

"This is probably the most frustrating time through the injury because you're just on the verge of everything. Pre-season in the summer will be massive for me."

Irish Independent

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