Saturday 21 July 2018

Hendrick and Ward return to training in play-off boost

Soccer

Jeff Hendrick
Jeff Hendrick
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Jeff Hendrick and Stephen Ward returned to training with the Ireland squad before their flight to Copenhagen yesterday.

The Burnley pair delivered a timely boost to Martin O'Neill ahead of the play-off by coming through the Abbotstown session unscathed after a week where they have been working individually with FAI medical staff to get themselves fit for tomorrow night's first leg.

Hendrick (right) and Ward have both started when available in this campaign and the unavailability of either individual would force O'Neill into a reshuffle.

With David Meyler already suspended, Hendrick was the major concern but a glute muscle problem has recovered well. Ward was always expected to shake off a knee problem and take up his usual position at left-back.

The Irish pair will still have to come through training in Parken Stadium this evening. Injury absentees Seamus Coleman and Jon Walters have also linked up with the panel to offer their support across the play-off window. Coleman is still recovering from his broken leg while Walters is facing a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury.

With Keiren Westwood passed fit to travel, fourth-choice goalkeeper Colin Doyle has been allowed to return to his club Bradford who have a League One game with Plymouth tomorrow.

- Daniel McDonnell

Irish Independent

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