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Five Aside
By ESPN Staff

Reid blow for Ireland Euro hopes

Steven Reid is out of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifiers against Cyprus and the Czech Republic.

The Blackburn midfielder has not played since injuring his back injury in the opening qualifying defeat to Germany in Stuttgart at the start of the month.

Reid did travel to Austria for the first leg of Blackburn's UEFA Cup first-round tie against Red Bull Salzburg a fortnight ago.

However, it was evident during the training session at the Bulls Arena the evening prior to the game the injury would not allow him to play, and so it proved.

Reid has since seen a chiropractor to discover the extent of the problem, with the hope of returning after the international break.

'Steven is improving, but his recovery is not going as fast as we would like, so he certainly won't be involved against Wigan this Sunday,' said Blackburn boss Mark Hughes.

'He also won't be involved with Ireland. He hasn't kicked a ball or been out with the group for about two weeks. So there's no point his going because he wouldn't be in a fit state to play.

'It is better for him, us and Ireland if he stays behind and has intensive treatment morning and afternoon, and let's see if we can get him back quickly.

'Hopefully then he will be available for selection after this break coming up.

'But it's difficult with back injuries. It's fairly difficult to nail down what the actual problem is, and he is still feeling discomfort.

'He had injections in his back a couple of days ago, and we are hoping it will calm things down. Over the next few days we will see if it has had an effect.'

With another midfielder in Graham Kavanagh also out after knee surgery on Thursday, the door is open for Lee Carsley to return to the international fold.

Carsley has not played for his country for two and a half years after deciding to concentrate on club football with Everton and his family at the time.

But the 32-year-old, who has won 29 caps, telephoned Ireland boss Steve Staunton on Tuesday to let him know he was ready to end his exile.

Earlier this week Staunton confirmed: 'Lee phoned me and said he wishes to be considered for selection as he has now re-established himself in the Everton first team, and that is welcome.'

With obvious problems in the central midfield area, Carsley may now get the nod for the October 7 game with Cyprus in Nicosia and the October 11 clash with the Czechs at Lansdowne Road.