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Published: 17:02 | 7/6/16

Keane: Walters is main injury concern

Squad prepares for Sweden opener

Roy Keane says striker Jonathan Walters is the main fitness worry for the Republic of Ireland ahead of their Euro 2016 opener against Sweden next Monday.

The assistant manager is hopeful that the Stoke City striker will be fit in time to be considered for selection as the squad continued their preparations at Abbotstown as injury concerns over skipper Robbie Keane and winger Robbie Brady were allayed.

“It’s not ideal of course but I think he’s feeling better in himself," Keane said of Walters on Tuesday afternoon.

"The medical staff are looking after him and there has been improvement.

“Jon is a lot more positive about it and we’re probably looking more towards the end of the week.

“Jon’s a fit lad anyway so hopefully that won’t be a problem for next week. Obviously, the closer we get to the game, Jon would be the biggest worry but we’ll play it by ear, day to day.

“But in his body language he’s a lot more positive than he was a few days ago."

Although Robbie Keane trained fully for the second day in succession, Brady sat out the session alongside Walters as he continues his recovery from a back spasm suffered at the weekend.

However, the assistant boss feels that there is no cause for concern and that the Norwich winger will be fit in time.

“Robbie (Brady) is fine," he added. "I think he was even tempted to train today but with the travelling tomorrow he’ll have almost another day’s recovery.

“So it was really just a precaution for Robbie Brady. I wouldn’t be worried one bit, he’ll be fine.

“Robbie (Keane) joined in, started and finished the session, Jon Walters did a light jog.

“They’re important players for us and have a big part to play in the campaign. Jon is a big character for us, Robbie has done really well, particularly on his set-plays etc, so we hope they’ll be ready for next week.”

By: Kieran O'Daly

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