Sunderland defender O’Shea given Ireland Euro 2012 boost

John O'Shea
John O'Shea
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SCANS have confirmed that John O’Shea’s injury which flared up at the weekend in the game against former club Manchester United will not prevent him from taking part in the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2012 campaign.

The veteran defender was given a torrid time at left-back by Antonio Valencia and was substituted five minutes before half-time feeling his calf.

Martin O’Neill revealed afterwards that O’Shea was taken off purely as a precaution and the 31-year-old appeared to be in no trouble as he strolled around the Stadium of Light at the final whistle with the rest of the squad acknowledging the support of the crowd.

Today, a club statement announced: “John suffered a knock to his ankle in training prior to the Fulham game which he aggravated slightly in Sunday’s game against Manchester United.

“He was taken off as a precaution and following positive results from a scan on Sunday night, he will meet up with the Republic of Ireland squad as scheduled next weekend.”

O’Shea is unlikely to be risked in the Republic’s friendly at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina a week on Saturday, although he is expected to be part of the squad.

It has been an injury-disrupted season for O’Shea in his debut campaign for the Black Cats but he has managed to feature in the vast majority of matches and will feel confident that by the time the Euros come around he will be 100 per cent fit.

The Championship players in Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad are set to meet up this Thursday, along with O’Shea’s Sunderland team-mate James McClean.

The winger made his international debut as a sub in a friendly against the Czech Republic in the Republic’s last home game and has made the Euro squad by the skin of his teeth.

O’Shea will be among a group of players allowed to link up with the squad at the weekend with his focus on being available for the Republic’s tournament start against Hungary in Budapest on June 4.

Meanwhile, Sunderland winger Sebastian Larsson, who continues to make good progress from a recent hernia operation, has been included in Sweden’s Euro 2012 squad, as has former Sunderland midfielder Tobias Hysen.

* MARTIN O’Neill goes head-to-head with Sir Alex Ferguson for the second time in 48 hours tonight when he takes charge of an Irish League Select XI against a Manchester United XI in a testimonial game for United great Harry Gregg in Belfast.

Northern Ireland international Gregg, who is now 79, joined United in 1957, survived the Munich air disaster the following year and went on to make more than 250 appearances for United before moving on in 1967.

Ferguson, who missed out on his 13th Premier League title despite winning at Sunderland on Sunday, has promised to take a strong squad to Windsor Park.