Brady - We will assess Duff
Liam Brady hasn't ruled Damien Duff out of the Montenegro game, despite Fulham insisting he is injured.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 07/10/09 2:33pm
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Liam Brady has not ruled Damien Duff out of the Montenegro game, despite Fulham reporting the contrary.
The winger returned to London after it was discovered that the 30-year-old had failed to recover from a calf injury he picked up against Arsenal 10 days ago with the Cottagers declaring him unavailable.
However, Brady has now revealed that the former Newcastle man will be assessed on Friday by Irish officials.
Duff will definitely miss the crucial clash with Italy on Saturday, but if Giovanni Trapattoni's men lose to the Azzurri, and Bulgaria beat Cyprus, then they will need to beat Montenegro on Wednesday to be sure of a World Cup play-off spot.
"Damien is going to be staying at Fulham for another couple of days then on Friday we will make a decision regarding Montenegro," he said.
"If we want them over we get them over. It will depend on what the medical staff at Fulham say and we will make a decision maybe Friday."
Ireland currently have a number of injuries to contend with as both Richard Dunne (ankle) and Sean St Ledger (neck) both missed training on Wednesday.
However, Brady eased fears by saying that both will be fine for the weekend and could even return to training by Thursday.
AC Milan ace Gennaro Gattuso returns for Italy after missing his country's last two games against Georgia and Bulgaria with an ankle injury, but Brady believes the challenge will be just as tough with or without the combative midfielder.
"The Italians don't need any introduction to anyone that knows anything about football," he added.
"They are all smashing players. Whether Gattuso plays or doesn't play it is still going to be a very tough game."