Thursday 22 February 2018

Stricken Trap to be back in harness for Euro qualifier with Armenia

David Kelly

David Kelly

Ireland's stricken manager Giovanni Trapattoni will be available to travel to Yerevan for Ireland's opening Euro 2012 qualifier against Armenia after yesterday's minor surgery "fully resolved" his sudden illness.

Trapattoni watched last night's game from his hospital bed and spoke to his assistant, Marco Tardelli, before and after the 1-0 defeat to Argentina and the 71-year-old was reported to be in relatively high spirits, although he was told that attending the game was "not an option".

Trapattoni will remain hospitalised until at least the weekend and Ireland team doctor Alan Byrne refused to put a date on his expected departure from the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin.

"Giovanni had a minor surgical procedure at three o'clock yesterday, which was performed by Dr Martin O'Donoghue and was very successful," he said.

"He is expected to remain in hospital over the weekend. There is no date set for his discharge. I'd like to thank Dr Martin O'Donoghue and all his staff who have been superb in caring for Trapattoni, from the time he went through the door until now."

And Tardelli confirmed that Trapattoni will be back in harness for the crucial qualifiers against Armenia and Andorra next month.

"This match has not whetted my appetite for international football," stressed his loyal assistant. "I stay well here. I will stay with him for the qualification. Tonight I was in my chair, beside Trapattoni's chair."

Byrne confirmed the FAI statements that had accumulated during the day, which revealed that a complication stemming from a previous surgery had caused the latest problem.

"He developed some adhesions from scar tissue emanating from previous surgery," said Byrne. "Giovanni thought shellfish was the issue -- it may indeed have been the trigger.

"But from examinations, it became evident there was a problem with these adhesions. It slowed the working of the abdomen and one adhesion needed to be removed.

"The problem is fully resolved and his general fitness will enable him to make a full recovery. He looked really ready and fit. The night before, he wanted to come training. It wasn't an option to come to the match."

However, Tardelli, much more at ease than when discussing the issue a day earlier when Trapattoni's condition was less certain, joked that he may even make it to a press conference in the Aviva Stadium.

That will not happen but it seems certain that Trapattoni will be able to lead his troops into another qualification campaign as Ireland seek to brush off the disappointment of their World Cup heartache.

Irish Independent

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