Manager says Leeds United ace Eunan O'Kane played v Sheffield Wednesday with cracked ribs

Eunan O'Kane of Leeds United and Charlie Mulgrew during the Sky Bet Championship match between Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United at Ewood Park on February 1, 2017 in Blackburn, England

Eunan O'Kane has been an integral player for Leeds United this season.

Eunan O'Kane of Leeds United is tackled by Che Adams of Birmingham City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Leeds United at St Andrews (stadium) on March 3,...

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has shed new light on Leeds United midfielder Eunan O'Kane's fitness.

O'Kane played for Leeds against Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend and O'Neill said that he did so with a cracked rib.

Republic of Ireland's manager Martin O'Neil gestures on the touchline during the World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Republic of Ireland and Serbia at Aviva stadium in...

Speaking at the Ireland press conference ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, O'Neill told the Irish Independent of the situation.

He said: "Eunan O'Kane has cracked ribs but he played with a pain-killing injection for Leeds at the weekend."

O'Kane is an uncertainty to feature for Ireland, with O'Neill adding: "We'll see how he is."

O'Kane had been a surprise omission from Leeds' loss to Cardiff City last Tuesday and he was badly missed.

Michael Mancienne of Nottingham Forest closes down Eunan O'Kane of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Nottingham Forest at Elland Road on January...

His injury was put down to illness but he returned for the fixture at Hillsborough at the weekend.

He did not have a good game and was culpable for the Owls' third goal in the 3-0 loss.

O'Kane offered no excuses after the game, only an apology.

 

In hindsight it may not have been a good decision to get O'Kane to play through the pain.

Many fans wanted Ronaldo Vieira to start instead, with Poland ace Mateusz Klich blowing his chance to impress against Cardiff.

Leeds confirmed on their official website yesterday that Vieira is nursing a minor knee injury which has caused him to pull out of the England under-20 squad.

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