Encouraging news on Aiden McGeady
Aiden McGeady's club manager, Tony Mowbray, today allayed fears that the player's ankle injury would keep him sidelined for a long period.
With the Republic of Ireland due to face Italy in a vital World Cup qualifier at Croke Park on Saturday week, October 10, McGeady's availability looked in doubt due to the knock he sustained while playing for Celtic last week in a Cup tie at Falkirk.
Mowbray today spoke positively about McGeady's recovery and expected him to be in contention for the Bhoys' Europa League match against Rapid Vienna on Thursday night.
"Aiden looks alright," Mowbray told the Celtic official website. "He trained this morning and we'll see how he is tomorrow.
"We're hopeful that he's going to be okay to play, but I'm not going to say that he's definitely going to play, because you never know if there will be a reaction overnight. All I can say is that he trained today and seemed fine."
Meanwhile, Damien Duff will not, as expected, feature for Fulham in their Europa League tie against Basle on Thursday, according to manager Roy Hodgson.
The Fulham boss was speaking three days after Duff hobbled off against Arsenal with a calf injury, a real concern for Ireland fans so close to the double-header against Italy and Montenegro.
Asked whether Duff would recover from his knock in time for the Ireland's qualifiers, Hodgson told the club's official website:
"On Damien, at the moment, it will be very much touch and go. We think he'll be at least two weeks from the injury taking place, so that would take him up to Ireland's first match in the next group of qualifiers (against Italy)
"If he's fit and has totally recovered, we certainly would never dream of stopping him from playing for his country but I would think, for Ireland, they will be on tender-hooks as to whether he will recover for that first game."
Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni last Friday named both McGeady and Duff amongst his provisional 27 man squad, from which players will be selected for the FIFA World Cup group 8 qualifiers against Italy in Croke Park on October 10 (kick off 20.00 hrs) and Montenegro four days in later in Croke Park on October 14 (kick off 19.00 hrs).