Ireland's Keane faces anxious World Cup wait
DUBLIN (AFP) –
Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane faces an anxious wait to discover if he will be fit for Tuesday’s crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier against Austria.
Keane suffered a calf injury in Friday’s 0-0 draw against Sweden in Stockholm and was due to have a scan on the problem on Sunday.
The LA Galaxy forward, who has 123 caps for Ireland and is his country’s all-time leading scorer, was present at Sunday’s training session, but did not join in with the group.
However, Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is hopeful the former Tottenham and Liverpool star will be fit to lead his side out against the Austrians in Dublin.
“Robbie is having a scan on his calf. He has a little bit of pain, but the scan will clarify the situation,” Trapattoni said on Sunday.
“I think he can play, but we will wait for the decision after this scan.
“Robbie played very, very well (against Sweden) and his experience has been important. I think he can be ready.
“But this game, we must think about all our possibilities. It’s a game we want to win, but also those who don’t start, the one or two or three changes (substitutions) will be very, very important.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Glenn Whelan, who missed the Sweden stalemate with an ankle problem, was able to train on Sunday and could be fit.
The game in Dublin is vital to Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil.
Trapattoni’s team are currently fourth in Group C with seven points from four matches.
They are behind Austria on goal difference and one point behind second placed Sweden in the race for a play-off place.
Group leaders Germany already have 13 points and look certain to qualify automatically.