Whelan eyes opening day return
Glenn Whelan has targeted Stoke's opening Premier League game with Wolves as he battles with a calf injury.
Last Updated: 03/08/10 11:07am
Glenn Whelan has set his sights on being fit for Stoke's opening game of the season against Wolves as he battles with a calf injury.
The 26-year-old midfielder picked up the problem in Saturday's friendly against Burnley and will play no further part in the Potters' pre-season preparations.
Whelan will also miss Republic of Ireland's friendly with Argentina next week as he focuses on a 14th August return against Mick McCarthy's men at Molineux.
"Over the last couple of days the injury has eased off," Whelan told The Sentinel.
"I'm hoping it's not as bad as first feared.
"It's obviously a bad time to get injured, you put in all that hard work over the last four or five weeks and then you get something like this so close to the season.
"But I feel pretty lucky to have got a couple of 90 minutes under my belt, so it's not a case of chasing fitness now, but just maintaining it.
"Hopefully, everything will be OK for the first game."
Whelan, who has 18 caps for his country, would almost certainly have been involved in Giovanni Trapattoni's plans for the game against the World Cup quarter-finalists next Wednesday, which celebrates the re-opening of the new Lansdowne Road.
But Whelan concedes there is no way he could have played in the illustrious fixture.
"If I'd been fit, I'd have loved to have played but the way things are at the minute with the injury, I'm going to have to pull out of that one," he added.
"I don't think the manager would be too pleased if I said I wanted to play in it so close to the new season, especially with it being a friendly."