Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill’s injury problems eased somewhat at training on Wednesday.
A number of withdrawals throughout the past few days had left Ireland facing some big problems ahead of this Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Wales on Friday, but O’Neill was able to watch his entire 26-man squad train for the first time, two days before the match at the Aviva Stadium.
The big news from that is that James McCarthy took part in training. Assistant manager Roy Keane had said 24 hours earlier that it was highly unlikely that the Everton midfielder would be playing due to a hamstring injury, he was given one final chance to prove his fitness by taking part in training and he has seemingly done that.
What that means for his chances of starting against Wales on Friday is unclear, but is now almost certain to be on the bench at the very least, and if that were to happen he could get a run-out in the friendly against Iceland on Tuesday.
There was more good news on the injury front for O’Neill as Seamus Colemans and Shane Long returned to training. The duo sat Tuesday’s session out as a precaution with ankle complaints, and while their participation on Friday was never really in doubt, having them back in training will be welcomed by O’Neill, who is eager to have the team as sharp as possible as they look to take another huge step on the road to Russia.
Watch below as we preview the big World Cup qualifier between the Boys in Green and Wales.