JAMES McClean will remain on Wearside as he undergoes treatment on a muscle injury which rules him out of the Republic of Ireland’s game against Germany at the Aviva Stadium this Friday.
Scans carried out yesterday showed that the 23-year-old (pictured, right) suffered a grade one hip flexor strain during Sunderland’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
And that definitely rules him out of the Germany game and casts doubt over whether he’ll be available for the Republic’s game against the Faroe Islands next Tuesday.
However, if there’s no further reaction, the left-winger has a good chance of being fit enough to be involved in the derby game against Newcastle United at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, October 21.
The strain is not a serious one but it is enough to hamper him during games and he would not have been able to do himself justice against Germany.
The Republic will not want to give up hope of him being available for the trip to the Faroe Islands next week but should have enough strength to see off the minnows without McClean’s help.
Certainly, Sunderland will be understandably reluctant to risk the health and fitness just days before one of their biggest games of the season.
And the likelihood is that McClean, having become unavailable for Friday’s game, will also miss out on Tuesday’s match but have a decent chance of being involved in the derby a week on Sunday.
Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has also been robbed him of the services of Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger, Glenn Whelan and Kevin Doyle.
As a result, Trapattoni faces a series of decisions over both his system and the personnel he decides to employ, and he will do that over the next few days as he puts his players through their paces in Malahide.
He said: “I have to decide in two days. After tomorrow, we will decide.
“We are missing five players, but I am confident about the quality we have, and two or three players have grown a little bit in personality.
“I am optimistic because I know the German players, I know their attitude, their quality, but we also have a little bit of that quality and discipline.
“I am confident about this.”
Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark is the latest man to be drafted into the squad after midfielders David Meyler and Robbie Brady were called up as the injury count mounted.
John O’Shea, who has made the right-back spot his own in recent years, is likely to be asked to line up in central defence, and his place could be taken by Stephen Kelly with Seamus Coleman another option.