Ireland cautious over Sunderland defender O’Shea

John O'Shea
John O'Shea
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JOHN O’SHEA will not be rushed back from injury as the Republic of Ireland take no risks with the Sunderland defender’s Euro 2012 participation.

O’Shea limped off in the closing stages of Sunderland’s final game of the season against Manchester United after succumbing to an ankle injury.

Although any fears of the 31-year-old’s inclusion in next month’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine were quickly eased, Ireland have been keen to keep the defender wrapped in cotton wool.

O’Shea endured a stop-start conclusion to the campaign after struggling to shake-off calf and hamstring problems which he first began to complain of during March.

He returned for Sunderland’s final four games, but was unable to play a full part in the Black Cats’ training schedule over the closing weeks of the campaign.

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has criticised O’Shea for remaining in the side during the run-in, but remains hopeful that the former Manchester United man will be available for the opening Euro 2012 group game against Croatia on Sunday, June 10.

O’Shea reported for duty at Ireland’s Malahide base over the weekend, but didn’t participate in training yesterday.

He will continue with light training this week, although he is unlikely to face Bosnia in Saturday’s Dublin friendly.

Trapattoni said: “(O’Shea) said to me he is OK, but we will evaluate. I don’t want to run a risk. He only trained in the gym. It is very important not to overwork him. But he can play the first game (against Croatia on 10 June) no problem.”

Trapattoni is confident skipper Robbie Keane will be fit to train after an injury scare.

The 31-year-old is due to arrive in Dublin from Los Angeles tomorrow after undergoing a scan on a hamstring strain.

Trapattoni said: “The news is the scan in the US was not bad. We are not worried and we await him with confidence.”