While the most obvious blow to Ireland as they look towards the summer will be the absence of captain Seamus Coleman following his double leg break against Wales last month, David Meyler has now added to manager Martin O’Neill’s injury concerns.
Confirmed by Sky Sports, the Hull City man is set to be laid up for some time with a medial knee ligament injury suffered in training.
While he may anticipate a return later in 2017 if his recovery goes to plan, this now puts one of O’Neill’s most tried and tested midfielders out of Ireland’s huge World Cup qualifier with Austria in June.
Hull midfielder David Meyler ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a medial knee ligament injury in training #ssnhq
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) April 14, 2017
The Republic of Ireland’s two summer friendlies with Mexico and Uruguay along with the aforementioned crucial qualifier against Austria are not too far away now and this is the last thing the Irish management team would have wanted to hear, particularly given the Corkman’s contribution against the Welsh in March.
While Ireland are well stocked in midfield compared to other areas of the pitch, it still puts a potential starter on the treatment table.
With Ireland level on points with Serbia at the top of World Cup qualifying Group D and Austria just four points off the pace, the group is finely poised. Any more injuries and Ireland’s bid to make it to the World Cup could become much more difficult.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena