Keane expects to be fit for Estonia clash

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Updated: October 19, 2011

Irish captain Robbie Keane has revealed he will be fit for next month’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Estonia. The LA Galaxy striker missed the victory over Armenia and was tipped to miss the crucial games on 11th and 15th November.

Keane suffered an abductor muscle injury in the 2-0 win away to Andorra earlier this month and it was initially believed he may be out for six weeks, but LA Galaxy’s expert medical team are speeding up his recovery.

“I’m very happy with the way things are going with my injury. I really think I can make it for the first leg,” he said.

“I will be having a further scan on the injury as a further progress check, but right now, the way things are looking, I’m going to be available for both games.”

It is a big month for Keane because he is not only involved with Ireland’s play-offs but his club also are in play-off action. “Robbie is making very good progress,” Galaxy boss Bruce Arena said. “We have no specific time scale yet because he continues to have treatment but we are very hopeful that he is going to make it, if not for the first play-off game certainly the second.”

The news will be a massive boost for Giovanni Trappatoni but he might not be worth the risk considering the form of the likes of Simon Cox, Shane Long and Jon Walters.

Cox performed admirably in Keane’s absence last game and justified his selection over his West Brom team mate Long. Kevin Doyle’s sending off means he will be missing for the games and Trappatoni has a decision to make.

On form it should be Long and Walters up front. Long was the subject of glowing attention on Sunday evening after an outstanding display for West Brom and the pundits on BBC’s Match of the Day 2 were quick to highlight the impact that the former Cork man has made for the Baggies.

The same can be said about Stoke’s Jon Walters. The strong front man scored again at the weekend and is a regular in Tony Pulis’ side.

If Keane is to be fit in time for the first leg on Friday 11thNovember then Trap has a massive decision to make. Only time will tell.

Nominated for 2011 Realex Web Awards

www.victorchandler.com

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