Double injury damage for Ireland as Matt Doherty and James McClean will miss June internationals

STEPHEN Kenny says he fears the worst on the injury front as he expects Matt Doherty and James McClean to miss the June international window.

Oherty suffered a knee injury in the first half of Tottenaham’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday and while the player has not been officially ruled out, Kenny is braced for grim news after the Dublin native sees a specialist tomorrow.

He also plans to be without veteran McClean for June’s Nations League games as he picked up a knee injury while on club duty for his club, although Kenny is also aware that McClean has a habit of winning fitness fights when the odds are against him.

“I wouldn’t be too optimistic about having Matt available in June. It’s early and we’ll see how he’s doing, he’s seeing a specialist tomorrow, then we’ll be wiser. Initial prognosis was 10-12 weeks, it’s a knee ligament injury, we’re on it,” Kenny said today, speaking ahead of his appearance on The LOI Show at the Sligo Showground.

“You never know with these things, you can be surprised but it seems pretty clear we’ll know more tomorrow but it seems like such a time frame. They sent the scans over, that seems to be the case,” added Kenny, who says he hasn’t spoken to the Spurs man since his injury.

“I left him alone for a minute, our medical team is dealing with the Spurs medical team, I’ll be speaking to him in the next few days.”

McClean’s initial diagnosis was that he was sidelined for up to nine months, although his club later reduced the timeframe to just a few weeks, and in a social media post last week McClean urged fans not to rule him out for this season. But Kenny admits the Wigan man is unlikely to make an appearance in June.

“James is also going to a specialist, he was supposed to see one today. I think the question is how long James needs his knee in a brace, that might dictate how that goes. He got really bad news at first, and then he got better news,” Kenny said.

“James is very determined, as you know when she [Wigan] promoted automatically, there is a four-week break between the end of League One and the international break, unlike in the Premier League, where you just go straight in.

“It’s a situation where we’re not sure, all things being equal, he would be ruled out, the injury itself, but James is quite determined. The odds are against him based on medical advice, but James often resists it. It depends if they need his knee in an orthosis for a much longer period of time, it affects everything he can do, it depends on the specialist.

*The LOI Show – With Stephen Kenny at 7pm on The LOI Show is the League of Ireland’s weekly highlight show, covering every Premier & First Division and Women’s National League game. Double injury damage for Ireland as Matt Doherty and James McClean will miss June internationals

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