Shay Given makes progress in his recovery from injury

Shay Given makes progress in his recovery from injury

Shay Given (Manchester City) was able to take part in a light training session today in London. Ireland are preparing for a friendly match against Nigeria at Craven Cottage on Friday night. Given will miss the game but should be fit to play against Bulgaria on Saturday, June 6, in the World Cup qualifying tie
27th May 2009
Shay Given began his active recuperation from injury today when he took part in a light training session in London ahead of Ireland’s friendly match against Nigeria at Craven Cottage on Friday.

Given is recovering from a hip injury and will not play against Nigeria. His place will be taken, for at least some of the match, by Keiren Westwood, the Coventry City goalkeeper. It will be his first international.

Expectations are high that Given will be fully recovered to play for Ireland against Bulgaria in the critical World Cup qualifying tie in Sofia on Saturday, June 6.

Ireland’s assistant manager, Marco Tardelli, confirmed that Given’s recovery is picking up momentum.

He said: “He (Shay Given) is better than he was on Tuesday. Maybe he will be fit for the Bulgaria match and if he is he will start.”

Kevin Doyle, who missed the end of the season with Reading because of a calf injury, will not play against Nigeria and is unlikely to be recovered in time to play against Bulgaria, but Caleb Folan (Hull City) is more confident that he will be fit.

Folan is struggling with a knee injury but a new scan on the injured limb has suggested he might be available for the visit to Bulgaria.

It is expected that manager Giovanni Trapattoni will give several of the uncapped players in the squad training in London a first international appearance, alongside goalkeeper Westwood.

Ireland’s practices match today saw Trapattoni selected Kevin Foley (Wolves) Sean St Ledger (Preston) and Eddie Nolan (Preston) alongside the experienced Richard Dunne in defence in one of the teams.

Leon Best (Coventry City) and Liam Lawrence (Stoke City) are also in the mix for selection against Nigeria.

Said Tardelli “The new players have worked very hard and understand the tactics the boss wants.

“Every match is very important to see the new players and get to know them.”