Republic boss O’Neill reveals rib injury to Leeds United’s Eunan O’Kane

Eunan O'Kane
Eunan O'Kane
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LEEDS UNITED midfielder Eunan O’Kane played through the pain of cracked ribs during Sunday’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, according to Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill, writes Phil Hay.

O’Neill said O’Kane had turned out at Hillsborough with the help of a painkilling injection but indicated that the 27-year-old could be in contention for the Republic’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales later this week.

O’Kane has joined up with O’Neill’s squad despite his injury and a below-par performance in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Wednesday.

Leeds had ruled him out of a 3-1 defeat at Cardiff City five days earlier, blaming sickness for O’Kane absence in the Welsh capital, but he returned to head coach Thomas Christiansen’s line-up for Sunday’s Yorkshire derby.

O’Neill told Ireland’s RTE: “Eunan O’Kane has cracked ribs but he played with a painkilling injection for Leeds at the weekend. We’ll see how he is.”

The Republic play Moldova on Friday before travelling to meet Wales next Monday. O’Kane is bidding to win his eighth cap for the Republic.

Two Leeds players have already withdrawn from international duty.

Pontus Jansson pulled out of the Sweden squad with a bruised arm suffered in Sunday’s game in Sheffield while Ronaldo Vieira will miss two England Under-20 friendlies with a minor knee tendon problem.

Sky Bet League Two club Yeovil have invited former Birmingham City boss Harry Redknapp to help manager Darren Way in “an advisory role with the first-team”.

HEAD IN HANDS: Pontus Jansson agonizes after missing a chance against Reading on Saturday.

Consistency at the back vital for Leeds United to turn around dismal form