Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is optimistic that captain Robbie Keane will be back to full fitness before the end of the week, but Jon Walters will not return to training until the squad reaches France.
The LA Galaxy striker took part in a light training session today in Abbotstown with his left leg supported with strapping. Walters and Robbie Brady were onlookers as the squad continue to build to next week’s European Championship opener against Sweden.
Ireland kick off their Group E campaign at the Stade de France on 13 June and O’Neill gave a medical update ahead of Wednesday’s departure and admitted that while Keane is on the mend, Walters is unlikely to train again until the squad reaches France due to an Achilles strain.
“Robbie Keane did a little bit of work today, he’s improving by the day which is good news,” the Derry man said.
“Jon Walters has had a bit of a problem in the last few days. He’s feeling a good deal better. He didn’t participate in training today and probably won’t tomorrow. We’ll see what he’s like when we get to France.”
Brady was forced to sit out training with a back spasm suffered at the weekend, but O’Neill doesn’t seem too concerned about it – “He’s definitely improved since the spasm occurred so that’s good news.” Midfielder James McCarthy also returned to training after missing the recent friendlies due to a thigh strain. If fully fit he is expected to play in the opener against Sweden.