Euro 2012: Irish keeper Shay Given returns to full training

Shay Given sat out part of Thursday's training session at the Municipal Stadium in Gdynia
Shay Given sat out part of Thursday's training session at the Municipal Stadium in Gdynia

Republic of Ireland keeper Shay Given returned to full training on Friday - just two days before his side's first Euro 2012 game against Croatia.

All 23 Irish players were present as they prepared to travel to Poznan.

Given's fitness had been a concern since he damaged a knee in Malahide a day after joining up with the squad.

A calf strain and blistered feet then led to more unease and the Aston Villa keeper skipped part of Thursday's work-out at the Municipal Stadium in Gdynia.

On Thursday assistant manager Marco Tardelli insisted 36-year-old Given was fit, responding to reports that the calf strain could rule him out of Sunday's Group C match.

"Everything is good. He decides to work sometimes yes and sometimes no because he knows," said Tardelli after Given sat out part of Republic's session.

Given, Ireland's most-capped player, is a key member of Giovanni Trapattoni's first-choice back five although Kieran Westwood has deputised effectively when called upon over the last couple of seasons.

Tardelli's comments followed goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly's insistence on Wednesday that Given would be fit for Sunday's match.

"I don't think wild horses could keep Shay out of the game on Sunday," said goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly.

Given has also struggled with a knee injury and blisters during pre-tournament training.

He was substituted at half-time in Monday night's 0-0 draw with Hungary in Budapest and didn't train in Poland on Tuesday.

However, Kelly maintained on Wednesday that Given was "fine".

"We had the open day yesterday in front of a really fantastic crowd, as you saw, and it's just part of his rest and recuperation," added the Irish goalkeeping coach.

"He played the 45 minutes the night before - I don't know if you noticed, but we were playing head tennis over in the corner and having a bit of craic with the crowd, and he was absolutely busting a get to get involved.

"But I had to put the old reins on him and keep him back. We had travelled overnight and it's nothing out of the ordinary, really."

The Republic face holders Spain on 14 June before completing their group games against Italy four days later.

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