Stuart Pearce is keeping his fingers crossed that an injury to Did Hamann is not a serious one.
The German international returned from the pre-season trip to China with some swelling to a foot, and of the initial medical checks Pearce says:
“We think he'll be alright. The scan has picked up something, it might be an old fracture or a new one but the symptoms suggest it's an old one, so we'll keep monitoring that.”
Richard Dunne missed Saturday’s final warm-up match against Porto and was due to meet up with the Republic of Ireland squad for their match against Holland on Wednesday, but Pearce thinks his hamstring strain will prevent that.
“He's definitely struggling for that along with Stevie Ireland, we just have to take care of them because they have muscle strains and you can't hurry those.”
Trevor Sinclair was another to sit out of Saturday’s defeat but not because of an old cheekbone injury as had been suggested.
“His cheekbone's fine,” said Pearce, “but in the last couple of days he picked up a neck strain. He came in today and tried to warm up in the dressing room but his neck got progressively tighter, so I told him to go home to get some rest and that we'd see him on Monday.”
Nedum Onuoha and Micah Richards are in England’s Under 21 squad for their European Championship qualifier against Moldova on Tuesday, and in the former’s case the Manager thinks more match practice is just what is needed as part of his comeback from injury.
“It will do us a favour if Nedum plays, another game under his belt would be beneficial. Micah's getting fitter and fitter so the more football they can play, the better.”