Ireland boss Trapattoni 'evaluating' Pilkington ahead of World Cup qualifiers

The Norwich winger has trained with the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of the World Cup qualification clashes against Sweden and Austria after recovering from a knee injury
Giovanni Trapattoni has revealed that he is "evaluating" Anthony Pilkington ahead of the Republic of Ireland's crucial World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.

The Norwich winger, who had pulled out of no fewer than five squads in the past, joined up with the Boys in Green on Monday for first time and came through the morning training unscathed.

"He is good," Trapattoni said. "He had a little knee problem, but I am evaluating his situation at the moment. I have also to think about the opponent, Sweden."

Shane Long, Robbie Brady and Marc Wilson all missed the first training session, but the trio are expected to train on Tuesday.

Stoke midfielder Wilson bruised his foot playing for his club on Saturday and will have a scan to assess the damage, but Trapattoni is confident that he will be able to take part in Tuesday's session.

"Probably, yes," said the Italian tactician when asked if Wilson would train. "Today I saw the knock on the ankle. He continued to play without problem [against West Ham]. He has a little bit of pain. I have no doubt about his fitness."

Defender Richard Dunne, who has played three Championship games for QPR, including their 1-0 win at Leeds, sat out the second half of training this morning as a precaution, but Trapattoni hinted that the 33-year-old would be involved in the Sweden clash.

He said: "I spoke with him, I saw the game [against Leeds], he was very well, I'm sure he can be with us in the game [against Sweden]."

Trapattoni indicated that goalkeeper David Forde would return to the side, having missed the friendly against Wales with a knee injury. The Millwall shot-stopper underwent surgery last month but returned to action for his club against Brighton on Saturday.

"We have a muscular situation. But he has played in his club without problems," he said. "In training I spoke with [goalkeeping coach] Alan Kelly, he's normal. At this moment I watch what happens. If he's okay we can continue with him."

Captain Robbie Keane and Darren O'Dea will join up with the squad tonight after both featuring for their clubs on Sunday.