Robbie Keane set to undergo surgery
LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane may be set to go under the knife in a bid to repair the long standing Achilles tendon problem that has likely ruled him out of the Republic of Ireland's international in Poland on Tuesday night.
Keane scored his 62nd international goal in Martin O'Neill's first game in charge of Ireland against Latvia last Friday, but the 33-year-old admits he may need to use the Major League Soccer off-season to resolve his fitness issues.
"It is kind of looking like [I will need surgery]," stated Keane, who has travelled to Poland with the Ireland squad despite his injury.
"There is definitely something that will have to be done, and that is likely to be it. I will see the specialist next week and hopefully get it all sorted out."
Keane received praise from manager O'Neill for his decision to travel with the team to Poznan, suggesting it confirmed his ongoing commitment to the national team.
"I wanted Robbie to come and the moment he said 'I'm coming,' I think that spoke volumes for him, it really did," said O'Neill. "I was really pleased that even if he had an opportunity to get something sorted out on Wednesday of this week, he was prepared to leave it go to travel.
"As captain of the side, it's great for him and from my point of view, it's great to hear."
O'Neill's pre-match press conference was dominated by the latest Twitter controversy surrounding Wigan winger James McClean, who has attracted attention after making negative comments about an article in a Belfast newspaper.
The new Ireland manager was forced to warn McClean over his social media antics during his time in charge at Sunderland and just one game into his reign as Ireland boss, the story is back on his agenda.
"I wasn't overly pleased and I've reminded James, but remember it’s been a fairly lengthy time since I last mentioned it to him," said O'Neill. "It is disappointing to [be] talking about James and Tweets again.
"James seems to enjoy the Twittering and his performance (against Latvia on Friday) merited one or two tweets from other people saying how we he had done, rather than James getting embroiled again.
"I don’t want to be a guru over this social media but I just think there has to be a bit of responsibility. Sometimes I don’t think [players] realise, after all this time, this is a public media and anything you say is just picked up.
"Even before I arrived here there was a match-day ban, or even a two-day ban, and I’m just experiencing these things again but let me have a look at it.
"If I'm going to leave players out if they've tweeted I'll be in serious trouble down the line. If James doesn’t start [on Tuesday] night it won’t be anything to do with the tweeting but I’ll still have to have a word."
Sunderland defender John O’Shea is favourite to lead the Ireland team in Poland in the absence of Keane, with O'Neill joking he "may be tempted to get McClean to tweet his team news" when the side has been named.