McShane targeting Wembley return after injury woe
PAUL McShane could make a dramatic comeback from injury in Saturday week's FA Cup final after Steve Bruce confirmed that he will try and arrange a match this week to build the Wicklow lad's match fitness.
McShane has been sidelined since February with an ankle problem that was expected to finish his season, yet he has worked hard to build up strength and is now a surprise contender for their Wembley date with Arsenal due to injury concerns surrounding regular centre-half James Chester, who damaged his hamstring over the weekend.
The 28-year-old was a big part of the Tigers' promotion-winning squad last term before enduring a stop-start return to the Premier League. It could finish on a remarkable high, however.
"We'll let him train all week and hastily try and get a game somewhere," said Bruce. "It's difficult, but hopefully he can get some sort of football in him. If he comes through that then the weekend might be okay for him too."
Ireland colleague Robbie Brady is also targeting a Wembley date, but he is behind McShane in terms of recovery time at the moment, which means he is unlikely to figure in Sunday's clash with Everton which was the deadline for making a case with regard to the final squad.
Meanwhile, Darron Gibson could be part of the Everton panel for that fixture after Roberto Martinez delivered another positive bulletin on his well-being.
Gibson had been set a target of Saturday's Premier League clash with Manchester City after making good progress from his cruciate injury, but he wasn't ready.
The Derryman has rejoined his team-mates in training, but Martinez is waiting to see how the week develops.
"Darron Gibson has been working with the team," said Martinez.
"That is really good timing because he (Gibson) has been able to finish the season strong from his point of view.
"I don't know if Darron will make it in time to be involved with the squad, but it is a positive sign nonetheless."
Both Gibson and McShane could feature in Ireland's end of season programme, although Martin O'Neill recently acknowledged that he would have to get Martinez's approval before calling up the midfielder who was injured on international duty last October.