Wal­ters a fitness doubt for qual­i­fiers

For­ward will miss Burn­ley’s trip to play Spurs at Wem­b­ley be­cause of an­kle in­jury

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SOCCER - EMMET MALONE Soc­cer Cor­re­spon­dent

Jon Wal­ters is out of Burn­ley’s visit to Wem­b­ley for their game against Tot­ten­ham to­mor­row and re­mains a sig­nif­i­cant doubt for Ire­land’s qual­i­fiers against Ge­or­gia and Ser­bia early next month de­spite Sean Dy­che sug­gest­ing that a scan on the player’s an­kle had shown less dam­age than had ini­tially been feared.

The 33-year-old for­ward, who has yet to start a Premier League game for his new club, picked up the in­jury in the mid­week League Cup win away to Black­burn where he had to be re­placed just be­fore half-time.

Dy­che con­firmed yes­ter­day he will miss the Clarets’ trip to Lon­don and seemed to sug­gest that the prob­lem might ex­tend beyond the week­end. Given the for­ward’s im­por­tance to the Ir­ish set up, Martin O’Neill is likely to bring him over with the squad due to gather in Dublin on Mon­day.

An­kle lig­a­ments

“Jon in­jured his an­kle lig­a­ments,” con­firmed Dy­che, “but it isn’t as se­ri­ous as it could have been, which is good news. He still won’t be back im­me­di­ately but there was good news from the scan and we are hope­ful it was a pretty straight for­ward sit­u­a­tion.

Jeff Hen­drick, he went on to say, is still strug­gling with the thigh strain that kept him out of the Black­burn game but he had not quite been ruled out of Wem­b­ley.

“Jeff is another one we will have to keep an eye on,” Dy­che said. “He has a tight thigh, so we’ll be mon­i­tor­ing him over the next few days and see what hap­pens.”

James Mc­Carthy will not be in­volved in Everton’s game against Chelsea at Stam­ford Bridge but Ron­ald Koe­man ap­peared to con­firm, per­haps with a hint of sar­casm, that the mid­fielder will be al­lowed to join up with Ire­land next week. “He has a knock on his knee,” said the Dutch­man, “and, also, nor­mally after in­ter­na­tional duty, he will be avail­able.”

Noel King, mean­while, has con­firmed the in­clu­sion of West Ham’s De­clan Rice in his un­der-21 squad for Tues­day week’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship qual­i­fier against Azer­bai­jan in Baku with the de­fender, he says, one of a num­ber of play­ers do­ing well at their at their clubs of late.

“It’s been in­ter­est­ing to see play­ers make good progress. We have Con­nor Ro­nan in, who is do­ing well at Wolves, De­clan Rice has played well for West Ham in the Premier League, Josh Cullen is do­ing well in his loan at Bolton,” said King.

Ethan Am­padu, the 16-year-old son of for­mer Ire­land un­der-21 in­ter­na­tional Kwame Am­padu, has been named by Chris Cole­man in the se­nior Wales squad for the qual­i­fy­ing games against Aus­tria and Moldova.

Jeff Hen­drick: strug­gling with the thigh strain that kept him out of mid­week

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