Date: 8th March 2008 at 11:24am
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Seems to be a lot of talk on injuries lately!

On the good side of things Nigel Hokey-Cokey and Olof Mellberg are both back to full fitness and could feature in our home game v Middlesbrough next Wednesday night. NRC picked up a back injury in the draw v Arsenal and Mellberg has been nursing an ankle injury which explains his absence in recent games.

Martin O’Neill told the official site: ‘Both of them have trained with no adverse reactions. Olof is now properly fit and Nigel is OK. Nigel’s back seized up on him. I think it was from a fall in the first-half at Arsenal. I thought he was moving uncomfortably in the last six or seven minutes before I eventually took him off. He had some pain killers to see if that would alleviate the pain, but he was in some discomfort and I thought the best thing to do was to take him off. At the minute they’re both going to be OK. Obviously we’ve got a couple of days to negotiate in training.’

Meanwhile Stephen O’Halloran, who returned early from his recent loan to Leeds having picked up a cruciate ligament injury says he is still hungry and will return despite the prospect of up to nine months out of the game.

Again on the official site the Republic Of Ireland international said: ‘I don’t really know the timescale yet, it depends on the op. It’s probably going to be between six and nine months, but that’s roughly what I’m looking at. One thing’s for sure, I’ll work hard and do everything I’m told to do so I can be back as quickly as possible.’

Adding, ‘There’s no point in being negative now. It’s happened and it’s one of those things. It’s a bad injury, but these days they can fix them pretty easily and I’m going to stay positive. I’m already looking forward to getting back.’

Meanwhile another youngster, midfielder Jonathan Hogg, has picked up a bad injury after what the official site calls a ‘horror tackle’ in Monday’s reserve game v Spurs.

The 19-year-old, according to Martin O’Neill, ‘faces a long road back.’

Hogg said: ‘It was a horrible challenge and my leg’s a mess. But the manager has told me the club will look after me and I just have to get my head down and work hard to get back from this.’

Good luck to both Stephen and Jonathan, I’m sure you’ll return fighting fit next season.