Football/Soccer

James McClean facing wrist surgery following injury in Ireland camp

James McClean in action for Stoke City against Leeds United Picture by PA
Damian Spellman

JAMES McClean will miss Republic of Ireland's opening Uefa Nations League fixture against Wales tomorrow night, as well as their friendly in Poland, after undergoing surgery on his wrist.

The 29-year-old Stoke winger revealed the damage, which happened in training in Abbotstown on Tuesday morning, in an Instagram post showing photographs of his bandaged arm. Beneath pictures of himself receiving treatment for the injury in hospital earlier in the day, McClean wrote: “Next step surgery...f*ck it! One of those things” and another “if I had a duck, the f*cker would drown”.

McClean's misfortune was later confirmed by the FAI. In a statement, Irish soccer’s ruling body noted: "Winger James McClean suffered a wrist injury during training and, after being assessed by the FAI medical team, he was brought to hospital for an x-ray and immediate surgery.

"McClean will miss the games against Wales and Poland."

Although the brief statement provided no details of how the injury was sustained, it is understood the Creggan man fell heavily on his wrist during a training session. It is unclear whether anyone else was involved in the incident.

McClean had appeared to find his feet in recent games with his new club in England’s Championship, scoring in their first league win of the season, against Hull, and featuring in their recent League Cup win over Premier League side Huddersfield.

The news will have come as a fresh blow to Martin O'Neill, who has already seen his options significantly reduced by injuries to Robbie Brady, James McCarthy, Shane Long, Scott Hogan and Seán Maguire.

Declan Rice and Harry Arter are also missing from the squad, with the former mulling over an approach from native country England and the latter having withdrawn following a summer disagreement with assistant manager Roy Keane.

On Monday, O'Neill revealed McClean had sent a text message to Rice in an attempt to persuade the West Ham prospect to declare for Ireland.

Although he has made three appearances for the Republic at senior level, Rice is still eligible to represent England owing to the fact his Irish appearances thus far have been friendly games.

McClean made his feelings public when O'Neill announced Rice had decided to turn down a call-up to the Irish squad for the game with Wales.

“James has spoken to Declan Rice,” said O’Neill of his fellow Derry man.

“James is very strongly in favour of him coming. Very strong. He sent a text message strongly in support of Declan coming here. Declan has made a great impression here. He has done very well at senior level, as he has done at underage level.”

O'Neill was at least able to welcome striker Jonathan Walters back into the fold yesterday morning, with he and Kristiansund BK keeper Seán McDermott training after meeting up with the squad following their club commitments, while Shane Duffy and David Meyler, who were rested on Monday, were also involved.

The FAI’s statement added: "The Republic of Ireland squad took part in training at the FAI National Training Centre on Tuesday morning ahead of the departure to Cardiff for this week's Uefa Nations League game with Wales.

"Defender Shane Duffy (groin) and midfielder David Meyler (knee) sat out training on Monday, but both players were involved in the session on Tuesday that also included goalkeeper Sean McDermott and forward Jonathan Walters after they linked up with the squad."

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