Keiren Westwood injury worry for Sunderland

INJURED: Keiren Westwood
INJURED: Keiren Westwood

KEIREN Westwood will begin treatment at the Academy of Light today after injury forced him out of the Republic of Ireland’s clash with Greece.

A thigh injury meant the Sunderland stopper was a late withdrawal for last night’s friendly in Dublin, which saw the Irish succumb to a 1-0 defeat.

Westwood will be assessed by Sunderland’s medical staff today, but could be a doubt for Sunday’s trip to Craven Cottage.

If the 28-year-old fails to shake-off the problem to take his place on Sunderland’s bench, Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill will turn to England Under-19 stopper Jordan Pickford as back-up to first-choice Simon Mignolet.

Pickford is highly-rated by Sunderland’s coaching team and has warmed up alongside Mignolet and Westwood prior to first-team games this season.

But the 18-year-old’s only previous experience of first-team football came during last season’s five-month loan spell with Darlington.

While Westwood was absent, Sunderland’s other three Irish players all featured for Giovanni Trapattoni’s side last night.

Skipper John O’Shea, along with James McClean, both completed the entire game, while David Meyler was brought on for the final 20 minutes.