Sean Thornton’s ankle injury, sustained in the Sunderland – Newcastle reserves match and aggravated in training last week, has forced him to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad for the forthcoming World Youth Championships in the middle east.
The RoI team’s first match is against Saudi Arabia on November 29 but it’s said to be unlikely that Thornton would have been fit enough to take part. Subsequent matches are against the Ivory Coast on December 2 and Mexico on December 5.
Irish youth team coach Gerry Smith said, “It is a great disappointment to lose a player of Sean’s ability but because of his injury he would not have been fit for our first game. We will just have to get on with it and bring in a replacement.”
Had Thornton been fit enough to take part in the tournament, McCarthy would have been without the young midfielder until probably the West Ham away match on December 13, but if his recovery goes to plan he could be playing for Sunderland again in around two weeks – possibly in time for the rearranged Wigan home match on December 2 or the Coventry away match on December 8.