Jon Walters is a fitness doubt for Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers

Forward will miss Burnley’s trip to play Spurs at Wembley because of ankle injury

Jonathan Walters picked up an ankle injury in the  Carabao Cup second round match against  Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Photograph:   Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Jonathan Walters picked up an ankle injury in the Carabao Cup second round match against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

 

Jon Walters is out of Burnley’s visit to Wembley for their game against Tottenham on Sunday and remains a significant doubt for Ireland’s qualifiers against Georgia and Serbia early next month despite Sean Dyche suggesting that a scan on the player’s ankle had shown less damage than had initially been feared.

The 33-year-old forward, who has yet to start a Premier League game for his new club, picked up the injury in the midweek League cup win away to Blackburn where he had to be replaced just before half-time.

Dyche confirmed on Friday that he will miss the Clarets’ trip to London and seemed to suggest that the problem might extend beyond the weekend. Given the forward’s importance to the Irish set up, Martin O’Neill is likely to bring him over next week with the squad due to gather in Dublin on Monday.

“Jon injured his ankle ligaments,” confirmed Dyche, “but it isn’t as serious as it could have been, which is good news.

“He still won’t be back immediately,” continued the Burnley boss, “but there was good news from the scan and we are hopeful it was a pretty straight forward situation.

Jeff Hendrick, he went on to say, is still struggling with the thigh strain that kept him out of the Blackburn game but he had not quite been ruled out of the Wembley game as Dyche spoke at his pre-match press conference.

“Jeff is another one we will have to keep an eye on,” he said. “He has a tight thigh, so we’ll be monitoring him over the next few days and see what happens.”

James McCarthy will not be involved in Everton’s game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge but Ronald Koeman appeared to confirm, perhaps with a hint of sarcasm, that the midfielder will be allowed to join up with Ireland next week. “He has a knock on his knee,” said the Dutchman, “and, also, normally after international duty, he will be available.”

Noel King, meanwhile, has confirmed the inclusion of West Ham’s Declan Rice in his under-21 squad for Tuesday week’s European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku with the defender, he says, one of a number of players doing well at their at their clubs of late.

“It’s been interesting to see players make good progress. We have Connor Ronan in, who is doing well at Wolves, Declan Rice has played well for West Ham in the Premier League, Josh Cullen is doing well in his loan at Bolton,” said King.

Ethan Ampadu, the 16-year-old son of former Ireland under-21 international Kwame Ampadu, has been named by Chris Coleman in the senior Wales squad for the qualifying games against Austria and Moldova.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U21 SQUAD – Goalkeepers: Kieran O’Hara (Manchester Utd), Liam Bossin (Nottm Forest).

Defenders: Daniel Kane (Huddersfield), Ryan Sweeney (Stoke City - on-loan at Bristol Rovers), Shaun Donnellan (West Bromwich Albion; on loan at Walsall), Corey Whelan (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Ryan Delaney (Burton Albion; on loan at Cork City).

Midfielders: Josh Cullen (West Ham United; on-loan at Bolton Wanderers), Harry Charlsey (Everton), Connor Dimaio (Chesterfield), Ryan Manning (QPR), Liam Kinsella (Walsall), Connor Ronan (Wolves)

Forwards: Reece Greco-Cox (QPR), Ronan Curtis (Derry City), Joe Quigley (Bournemouth; on-loan at Newport County), Jake Mulraney (Inverness CT).

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