Robbie Keane out of Belarus friendly with calf strain

Robbie Keane faces an anxious wait to see if he can join the Republic of Ireland at the Euro 2016 finals after being ruled out of their final warm-up game through injury.

The 35-year-old skipper watched his team-mates from the sidelines as they trained at Turner’s Cross in Cork this evening ahead of tomorrow’s friendly clash there against Belarus after damaging his calf muscle on Saturday.

Keane, who did not play in the 1-1 draw against the Netherlands on Friday evening, had an injection to address the problem and would have been unable to train on Monday anyway as a result, but Martin O’Neill has ruled him out of the game, which takes place just hours before the manager has to finalise his 23-man squad for France.

O’Neill said: “We did some training on Saturday morning and he felt his calf at the end of training, so we’re just taking it on a daily basis.He won’t play tomorrow night in the game. I don’t think it’s worth risking that. But he is, as he says, a quick healer so we’ll see how it goes.”

With so little time left before the tournament gets under way any significant damage would make Keane a major doubt.

O’Neill will have to make his decision before 11pm tomorrow night, the UEFA deadline for squads to be submitted, but asked about the LA Galaxy frontman’s chances of making it, he said: “I couldn’t say at the moment, but I think he’s pretty hopeful.He had it scanned and it’s hopefully not too serious, but enough to put him in jeopardy for a while, so we’ll see how it is. He had an injection this morning and we’ll see how it is when it settles down.

“First of all, I’ll get a better update when another 24 hours pass. He had an injection this morning, so he wasn’t going to participate in any training today anyway. I’ll see how he is.Again, Robbie is a pretty quick healer – he says that himself. He is the captain of the team, we would want him to be there and there’s not much more I can tell you.”

The Irish squad enjoyed a light training session in the evening sunshine at Turner's Cross
The Irish squad enjoyed a light training session in the evening sunshine at Turner’s Cross

Keane isn’t the only player in doubt ahead of tomorrow clash,Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter pulled up with a thigh problem towards the end of the session and is due to undergo a scan.However, Everton’s James McCarthy, who did not train last week because of a thigh problem, was able to train with the physios this evening although he too will not be risked against Belarus.

Colarado Rapids striker Kevin Doyle has remained in the United States after being placed on the standby list by O’Neill.

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