St Ledger to visit German specialist about hamstring problem


Seán St Ledger is set to visit a German specialist in an attempt to salvage the second half of a season that has so far been wrecked by a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Republic of Ireland’s last two World Cup qualifiers.

The defender has played just seven times since the summer. Having initially struggled to get into the side at Leicester, he returned for a run that ended in early October when he limped out of a 2-0 over Bristol City with a grade-two hamstring tear.

The problem was always going to involve a lay-off but it has persisted for far longer than expected and after at least one anticipated comeback date slipped past, St Ledger is reluctant now even to say whether he might be fit again for the friendly against Poland in February.

“Obviously I’ve attempted to get back into training a couple of times but I’ve broken down a couple of times,” he said while back in Dublin last night for an event in City Hall where 115 international caps were presented to players who represented Ireland in Football For All football and futsal squads during 2011.

“The physios have told me that it’s just a patch of blood that’s in there and won’t go away. What they’ve told me, though, is that it’s a pretty rare condition.

“It is a bit more complicated than they thought at first. The last option is to have surgery and have it drained but it’s two months out if that happens and obviously I don’t want that.”

St Ledger expects to fly to Munich to see Dr Hans Wilhelm Müller Wolfahrt, the sports specialist who works with both Bayern Munich and the German national team.

The injury has sidelined the 27-year-old for a a number of key games with Ireland crashing to a 6-1 defeat against Germany then beating the Faroe Islands 4-1 while Leicester have established themselves as serious promotion candidates with Nigel Pearson’s side just four points off second spot.

St Ledger is anxious to play a part for both sides as they face into some important tests during the months ahead but is cautious about predicting what stage of the season he might make it back by.

“I just have to take my time and make sure that I’m right because personally and club wise there’ll be a big second part to the season. We’ve got a great chance of getting into the Premier League and that’s something that I want to be part of.”

Asked whether he had felt that Giovanni Trapattoni, who was yesterday, along with Marco Tardelli, inducted into Italian Football’s Hall of Fame in Florence, might have been about to lose his job in the wake of the Germany defeat, St Ledger said: “I think that would have been pretty hasty. He’s done so well for us over the years. We should have gone to the World Cup; we did qualify for the Euros and while obviously we didn’t do very well but it was in a very, very difficult group.

“These days media pressure and fan pressure can tell but John Delaney and the board made their decision and stayed strong and I think they did the right thing.”

Kilbane to manage Limerick?

Meanwhile Kevin Kilbane, who will appear on tonight’s Late Late Show, is the latest high-profile name to be linked with the vacant Limerick manager’s job. The likes of Peter Taylor and Phil Brown have previously spoken to owner Pat O’Sullivan and it is believed that the former Ireland international would be interested in doing the same.

Limerick are anxious to appoint a big name manager ahead of a season in which they will return to the Premier League and play their home games at Thomond Park.

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