Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy has been excused from the Republic of Ireland squad before their Euro 2020 qualifier versus Switzerland due to the intensity being ‘too much’ for him.
The 28-year-old recently returned to action after a long period out with injury and has since featured twice for Crystal Palace in the league and once in the EFL cup.
The Irishman joins Sean Maguire, Matt Doherty and Keiren Westwood in withdrawing from the squad due to injuries. Subsequently, Luton’s James Collins, Fulham’s Cyrus Christie and Burton keeper Kieran O’Hara have all stepped up into the squad.
Mick McCarthy told the press (BBC): “I have spoken at length to James [McCarthy]. He has recently moved to Crystal Palace and is only back playing.
“James is completely free of injury but the intensity of the Switzerland game was always going to be too much for James and we discussed that.”
Considering that McCarthy is returning after a long spell out, you can see why he might feel he is not physically ready to play so many intense games so close to each other.
Since the start of the 2014/15 season, James McCarthy has had eight separate injuries – and his most recent kept him out for 350 days (Transfermarkt). Therefore, it is really important for the midfielder to build his match fitness and sharpness and more importantly not get himself injured again.
It would be much more to Mick McCarthy’s benefit to have James McCarthy back fully firing rather than risking him when he’s not completely match fit.
The decision is understandable when you consider both Palace and Ireland will want the player getting back to his best and at his fittest.
McCarthy has missed a lot of football in recent seasons. The last thing anyone would surely want is for the former Everton man to pick up another injury or burn himself out as he looks to reach peak fitness again.
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