Burnley midfielder Hendrick was injured during Saturday’s match against Southampton

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Republic of Ireland are optimistic Burnley pair Jeff Hendrick and Stephen Ward will be fit for Saturday’s World Cup play-off first leg in Denmark.

Midfielder Hendrick had a positive result on a scan on the lower back injury he sustained during his club’s weekend win over Southampton.

The 25-year-old sat out Wednesday’s light training session at Abbotstown.

Hendrick’s club-mate Stephen Ward also appears to be winning his fitness race and took part in training.

Defender Ward had a knee concern but seems on course to be available for the first match against the Danes in Copenhagen.

Striker Jonathan Walters and midfielder James McCarthy are among the players already ruled out through injury, while David Meyler is suspended for the first leg.

Ten Republic of Ireland players are on yellow cards and in danger of missing the second leg.

Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter is among that group but says it is not on his mind.

“It’s disappointing that you carry cards over, maybe in the future they might change that and keep it for group stages,” he said at the Republic’s media event on Wednesday.

“I am sure I speak for all the lads who are on bookings, you have to just get on with it.

“I think our team spirit is probably different to what the lads have at their clubs and slightly different to what I have at my club.”


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