Michael O’Neill has allayed concerns over the fitness of Kyle Lafferty after Northern Ireland’s leading striker limped out of training on Tuesday with a groin problem.
Lafferty hobbled off in clear discomfort midway through a full training session at Parc de Montchervet. Northern Ireland had opened the full session to the local public and the exit of the striker, who scored seven times in the qualifying campaign, was an unwelcome scare five days before the team’s opener against Poland in Nice.
Following the training session, however, and after an assessment by team doctor David White, the Northern Ireland manager insisted the 28-year-old had not suffered a serious problem.
O’Neill explained: “He’s fine. It was precautionary. We have no major concerns there. It was a little twist [of the groin] but on examination we don’t expect any issues at all. We’re being careful. I’m more concerned about the thunder and lightning to be honest. He just twisted it a little bit as he slid in.
“The pitch is hard and you’re always liable to these little situations happening in training. He seems alright. He’s probably a little bit scared to get in the ice bath but he’s there every day. He’s fine. All good.”
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