Leeds United: Republic of Ireland midfielder O’Kane fit to face Burton Albion

Leeds United midfielder Eunan O'Kane has recovered from a groin problem. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds United midfielder Eunan O'Kane has recovered from a groin problem. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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EUNAN O’KANE is fully fit for Saturday’s Championship hosting of Burton Albion after the Leeds United midfielder pulled out of international duty with a groin problem.

O’Kane was due to represent the Republic Of Ireland in World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Serbia but left the camp with what the FA of Ireland reported as an “ongoing groin complaint”.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen.

Leeds United boss Thomas Christiansen.

A groin problem disrupted O’Kane’s first campaign at Elland Road with the midfielder missing two months of the season last term.

But Whites head coach Thomas Christiansen has reported that O’Kane left the Ireland camp with a view to returning to action for Leeds for whom the midfielder has excelled so far this season.

O’Kane has played every single minute of every league game for United so far this term and Christiansen says there are no problems ahead of Saturday’s Elland Road clash with Burton.

“He is 100 per cent ready for the game tomorrow,” said Christiansen.

“He went with the national team but it was in that moment that he had some small problems and we took the decision that it would be best for him to come back and to prepare himself for this month that we will face now.”

Christiansen also revealed that full-back Gaetano Berardi and centre-back Matthew Pennington are also very close to returning from their injuries.

Both players became injured on the opening day of the season at Bolton with Berardi dislocating his shoulder and Pennington damaging his ankle.

Of Berardi, Christiansen said: “He came back, this is his first week with the team and there was no problem with him.

“But he needs of course a little bit more time with the team.”

Asked for an update on Pennington, Christiansen revealed “He is very close.

“He has been out on the pitch in this last week so he will soon be in.

“But not for the weekend.”

Striker Caleb Ekuban is United’s only other injury with the forward facing a minimum of eight weeks on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on a broken foot bone.