Duff and Andrews pull out of Ireland Squad due to injury
Last night, it emerged that neither Damien Duff nor Keith Andrews would be fit enough to play in Ireland’s upcoming Euro 2012 Qualifiers against Russia and Slovakia. Both players have returned to their clubs for treatment.
Duff picked up a knock on Saturday against West Ham, and had to be taken off after 69 minutes. Although he joined up with the squad yesterday, Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni was not optimistic about his chances of playing in either game. “The news is not very good today,” conceded the Ireland boss. “Damien Duff has had a scan and there is a little injury. It is 90 per cent he is not available. A muscle injury is very dangerous. It is not easy to recover in eight days. He has pulled the muscle and there is a little blood showing on the scan, so we spoke to the doctor and he is going home.”
Similarly, Blackburn’s Keith Andrews has a groin injury and has had to withdraw from the squad. Keith Treacy had been on stand-by for the international matches, but will also miss out after Preston manager Darren Ferguson decided the player needed to rest. This decision was not warmly accepted by Trapattoni, who said “They said he is injured. He can play, but he needs rest. They wanted to rest him so he could recover. Always after one hour, he is in pain in his groin and they think it is better he stays at home. After the last game, he played 60 minutes, he felt it and we hope with this rest, he gets better.
“In Italy, we have other habits. If a player is injured, our doctor speaks with their doctor, he comes in and then he goes home. In Italy, players always come. It’s not a problem of believe or not believe. I am not a doctor. He can play 20 minutes and he has pain in his groin. He plays 20 minutes, 60 minutes, but then he is not fit so it is not possible to come with us.
“It is not only Andrews, there are other players. It would be better if they could rest, but clubs, doctors, managers, they say ‘try’ and they play 20, 30 minutes and they have pain again.”
Treacy himself did not think the boss was impressed with the decision to sit out the two games. “I don’t think Trap was too happy when I phoned and told him that I am tired,” admitted Treacy. “He was surprised because we have only played nine games but I’ve been struggling and need the break.
“I need to make sure I am fit and playing well for Preston and then hopefully I will get the chance to play for my country again. The international break has come at the right time. I am going to put my feet up and relax, I might go back to Dublin to see the family.”
Hopefully this decision won’t affect the Preston winger’s future chances with Ireland, as he has been in splendid form so far this season.
Trapattoni will not be calling up replacements for either midfield, but has drafted in Stoke’s Marc Wilson to replace Darren O’Dea. When asked was he replacing either Duff or Andrews, Trapattoni replied “No, we have enough wingers here. With Stephen Kelly missing, we are a defender short, so we have called up Marc Wilson.”
Ireland take on Russia at the Aviva Stadium on Friday at 19:45, and Trapattoni will be hoping every one else stays fit.