Speaking to RTE, Martin O’Neill has confirmed that Leeds United’s Eunan O’Kane has been playing with a rib injury.
O’Kane has linked up with the Republic of Ireland for this week’s international break, and is a major doubt for his country, with O’Neill revealing that the midfielder has been playing through the pain of cracked ribs.
Having missed Leeds’ trip to Cardiff City last midweek, O’Kane returned to action on Sunday, as Thomas Christiansen’s side disappointed against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough – losing 3-0 to their Yorkshire rivals.
O’Neill has now revealed that O’Kane has picked up an injury, and had to play against Sheffield Wednesday following a painkilling injection, he said: “Eunan O’Kane has cracked ribs but he played with a painkilling injection for Leeds at the weekend.
“We will see how he is.”
Ireland face Moldova and Wales in World Cup qualifiers over the coming week, as O’Neill’s side look to give themselves a chance of featuring in next year’s World Cup in Russia.
It is now doubtful if O’Kane, 27, will have the opportunity to build on the seven caps he already has for his country this week.
O’Kane is not the only Leeds international struggling with injury, with the Whites forced to withdraw Pontus Jansson and Ronaldo Vieira earlier this week.
O’Neill’s admission is a surprise, with Leeds keeping quiet on O’Kane’s injury following the defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
O’Kane’s performance at Hillsborough was below par, and his painkilling injection could have been the reason behind that.
As with Jansson and Vieira, Leeds will hope O’Kane’s injury is not serious, with the midfielder vital to Christiansen’s squad.
Losing the 27-year-old for an extended period would be a huge blow to Leeds, who will now be hoping Ireland handle him with care over the coming week.
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