David Harte could be fit for Ireland’s World Cup campaign

Goalkeeper was originally thought to be out but injury is not as bad as it was first thought

Ireland’s David Harte could now be fit for the World Cup in India. Photo: Freddie Parkinson/Inpho

Ireland’s David Harte could now be fit for the World Cup in India. Photo: Freddie Parkinson/Inpho

 

Ireland received a significant boost to their men’s hockey World Cup chances as injured goalkeeper and team captain David Harte is now optimistic he can travel to India.

The Kinsale 30-year-old sustained what appeared to be a serious leg injury during the warm-up for last Saturday’s four-nations defeat to Netherlands in Spain. It was initially thought that he had fractured his fibula and ended the World Cup preparation tournament in Valencia with a protective plaster on his leg.

However a second scan taken in the Netherlands, where Harte is based, revealed that there was no broken bone, which leaves him sore and bruised but likely to travel to India with the Irish team later this month.

“David Harte was injured during a warm up routine in Valencia. As a precaution he was fitted with a medical boot and underwent scans in both Spain and the Netherlands,” said Hockey Ireland in a statement. “We are optimistic David will be fit to compete in the World Cup.”

Harte, twice voted the best goalkeeper in the world, an accolade no other Irish player has ever achieved, is critical to Ireland’s chances of doing well in their World Cup group where they are paced with Australia, England and China.

Ireland plays Australia, the number one ranked team in the world, on November 30th at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The Irish men have made two previous World Cup appearances, in Argentina in 1978 and Lahore, Pakistan in 1990, both times finishing in 12th position. They follow on from the Irish women’s team, who won an historical silver medal in London’s Olympic Park last summer before falling to the Dutch in the final

One of a number professional Irish hockey players competing for European clubs, Harte, plays at the very elite end of the sport in both the Indian league for Mumbai and for Kampong in the Netherlands.

Saturday: EY Irish Hockey League - Cookstown v Pembroke, 2.30 Cookstown; Glenanne v St Annadale, 2.30, St Andrews.

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