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O'Neill: Cuellar Injury Not Serious, But Fears For Wes Brown

Wes Brown could be out for a lengthy period after injuring himself against Groningen.
Wes Brown could be out for a lengthy period after injuring himself against Groningen.

One of the major disappointments from Sunday's 3-2 win over FC Groningen in the 2012 Peace Cup was the first half withdrawals of defensive duo Carlos Cuellar and Wes Brown, who were in turn replaced by Titus Bramble and young Irishman John Egan.

Speaking with reporters today, Martin O'Neill shed more light on how these two key defenders are holding up, and for Wes Brown, there's fears he could be out for some time;

Wes is the worry. It could be a bad one, but we really don't know at this stage. You're told one thing at half-time and another thing at full-time, so, really, it's too early to tell.

We'll probably only find out once we're home and it settles down, but hopefully it won't be too bad because he's an important player for us.

It would be incredibly hard on the club, and on Brown if he was to be lost to injury already this season. He's known to have a reputation for breaking down, but last year we did manage to get 20 games out him, and nearly all of them at a very high level. Earmarked for a big role this year leading the defence, the loss of Brown would be hard to take.

There was slightly better news however for Carlos Cuellar, who went off with less than 15 minutes played, as O'Neill explained;

It's disappointing that he couldn't get more minutes under his belt, but he felt a tightness in his thigh and did the right thing and came off. You don't want to go risking injury in preseason and Carlos did the smart thing and came off.

This was as expected really. Everyone watching was left with some slight bemusement when Cuellar was the first to be subbed as he managed to jog off the pitch, and didn't visibly seem to be showing any injury or pain.

Here's hoping Brown makes a comeback from this and as O'Neill says it isn't as bad as feared, but if it turns out to be ligament damage, he could face yet another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Everyone will be hoping Michael Turner, Carlos Cuellar and John O'Shea can remain fit between now and the start of the season too, as thankfully we're quite well stocked at the back - but one or two more injuries and that could all change.