Keane in race for fitness
Robbie Keane is fighting a battle against the clock to make tonight's World Cup qualifier in Germany.
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The 33-year-old Republic of Ireland skipper did not train at the Rhein Energie Stadion in Cologne on Thursday evening because of an ankle problem he aggravated in training on Tuesday.
Interim manager Noel King will make a late call after consulting Keane and his medical staff, although even if he does not make the Germany game, he could be fit for Tuesday's final Group C encounter with Kazakhstan in Dublin.
King said: "He is healing, and that's the process, so he's being tended to and we are hoping he will be ready; if he doesn't make it, we are hoping he will be ready for the next game.
"There's no question of going home or anything like that. He's still in squad."
Should Keane, who has 60 senior international goals to his name, not make it, King faces a decision over who to name in his place, with the successful candidate likely to be asked to play a lone role ahead of a five-man midfield.
Celtic's Antony Stokes, West Brom's Shane Long and Wolves frontman Kevin Doyle are the contenders, and the manager is confident all three could do a job if asked.
He said: "The three players I have mentioned - Doyle, Long and Stokes - are regular goalscorers. They probably wouldn't be as proficient as Robbie, but they are certainly well capable of scoring goals."
King also has big decisions to make at the back - he did not name his team during his pre-match press conference, but did claim he was almost certain over 10 of the names on the team-sheet - with experienced duo Richard Dunne and John O'Shea both suspended.
However, Crystal Palace's Damien Delaney accompanied him to the press conference, suggesting he could play alongside either Ciaran Clark or Stephen Kelly.
It would be a first competitive start for his country for Delaney, who has enjoyed a whirlwind few months after winning a return to Barclays Premier League football through the play-offs at the end of last season.
He said: "It's been good. I have been down many roads over the course of my career and regardless of if I get on the pitch for a minute tomorrow night, I'll do what I have always done, play with a smile on face and enjoy it because it's what everybody really wants to do in their life.
"Hopefully I'll part of it and if I'm not, I will be 100 per cent behind the boys who do go out there because it's going to take 23 men to get the job done."
Asked if the game represented an opportunity to make a name for himself, Delaney smiled and said: "At 32?
"Listen, I enjoy playing football. I'm living the dream, being a professional footballer, regardless of what level you get to."