Richard Dunne on the mend
GIOVANNI Trapattoni has delivered a positive bulletin on Richard Dunne's well-being, suggesting that the Ireland defender could return to club action with Aston Villa by the end of the month and is well on target for Euro 2012.
Concerns have been expressed about Dunne's recovery from a shoulder injury, with the 32-year-old on the sidelines since February with a broken collarbone after a heavy collision in the Premier League clash with Manchester City.
However, Trapattoni revealed yesterday that he has spoken to the big defender this week. Dunne indicated that he could return for Villa's match with neighbours West Brom on April 28.
"Every two or three days I call him and ask him to answer immediately," joked Trapattoni yesterday. "I was in touch with him and he said 'Mister, I am well, I am confident that I play maybe the last game in April for Aston Villa'."
Dunne has travelled to America to undergo extra rehabilitation work at the home of NFL side Cleveland Browns, who are also owned by Villa chairman Randy Lerner. They have more experience with the type of injury that the Tallaght native suffered.
Trapattoni is expected to name his finals squad on May 7 and, speaking yesterday on a visit to Dublin, he said that he has a strong idea of his 23-man party.
He did give a positive mention to youngsters James McClean and James McCarthy, saying they have provided food for thought with their recent club outings. McCarthy has returned to form at Wigan, while McClean continues to impress at Sunderland.
"McClean always goes out with confidence now," said Trapattoni. "He scores and plays well. And also McCarthy. We have also one or two or three options. But sure, it's a pity that I have to let one or two options out at this moment."
Trapattoni said that in an ideal world he would be able to bring 28 men with him when the team head off for their pre-tournament camp in Italy on May 27. But he knows there will be heartbreak.
"I am sorry because it's my duty to choose," he said. "I am sure that 28 deserve to come. But it's my duty to choose 23. That is our job."