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Published: 19:36 | 26/3/16

Arter disappointed by Ireland absence

Harry Arter says the pain from his Achilles injury "was just too much" to feature in Ireland's two Easter weekend friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia.

The Bournemouth midfielder hopes to make a late run into Martin O'Neill's 23-man squad for Euro 2016 but had to pull out of the two matches at Lansdowne Road with the injury.

"I went over on an early flight Monday morning," Arter said.

"I saw physio and doctor when I got there and told them that I had been struggling for a few weeks with an Achilles problem, so they had a look and got me scanned.

"After that, both the doctor and the boss Martin O'Neill thought the best thing to do was to use this international break to take some rest and get it right.

"I really wanted to go away with Ireland so I had tried to grit my teeth and get through it, but in the end it was just too much."

Arter, 26, says O'Neill told him that he would be given a last chance to impress in the friendly against the Netherlands on 27 May, ahead of the squad announcement two days later.

"Of course I had the Euros in my mind," he continued.

"That's why I wanted to be fit and available to play, but the doctor seemed pretty certain that it wouldn't help.

"I said to the boss that I could play through the injury if needs be, but he was really supportive and said that I could get myself right and have another opportunity in May.

"So now I am just going to take some rest and try to settle it down. Hopefully it won't take too long."

O'Neill has also confirmed that Ireland skipper Robbie Keane will miss Tuesday night's friendly against Slovakia with his troublesome knee injury.

"Robbie is just a wee bit concerned about the injury now," he said.

"It's something he thought was a kick for a start, he thought it would clear up in a couple of days. He has just felt it's sore and it's something he definitely wants looked at now, either here or going back.

"He will miss Tuesday's game definitely now. I am hoping that's not a major concern at the moment and I genuinely don't think it is, so I don't want to start a bit of scaremongering."

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