Folan resumes training as Whelan suffers knock

Folan resumes training as Whelan suffers knock

There was mixed news on injured players from the Republic of Ireland training camp in London today as the Irish prepared for a critical World Cup qualifying tie on Saturday against Bulgaria in Sofia.
5th Jun 2009

There was mixed news on injured players from the Republic of Ireland training camp in London today as the Irish prepared for a critical World Cup qualifying tie on Saturday against Bulgaria in Sofia.

Giovanni Trapattoni expressed confidence in the ability of team captain Robbie Keane to put an injury to his foot behind him in time to play against Bulgaria.

Keane had some inflammation of his foot after Friday’s drawn match with Nigeria at Craven Cottage and sat out training on Tuesday. But Trapattoni insisted this was purely a precaution.

Caleb Folan, a likely partner for Keane up front, also missed training at the start of the week but he also is likely to be fit to play.

The Hull City striker missed the game against Nigeria because of a knee injury but he was able to train today at Arsenal's Colney base. With Kevin Doyle ruled out of the match, Folan is favourite to fill the gap.

There was less optimistic news about the make-up of Ireland midfield, however, after Darron Gibson returned home with a groin injury.

Glenn Whelan, a virtual automatic choice under Trapattoni, had to break off training today when he damaged an ankle. He limped out of the action and immediately applied ice to the injury.

Ireland will be hoping that their injured warriors will be recovered in time to offer themselves for selection for a game that will inevitably have a huge influence on the final placings.

Bulgaria are in serious need of a win but if they were to succeed in taking all three points then they would be right back in the race for one of the vital top two positions.

Ireland, alternatively, will leap above the leading Italy team to take pole position in the league table, even if Italy will have a match in hand. A lead for Ireland over the rest would be of considerable psychological help with the closed season fast approaching.