By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — Republic of Ireland central defender Kenny Cunningham may not be fit to return for the vital soccer World Cup qualifying games in March. Cunningham, who is manager Mick McCarthy’s first choice defender, has missed every game for his club Wimbledon this season because of a groin inury.
Although McCarthy’s pairing of Gary Breen and the inexperienced Richard Dunne have performed well in the three qualifying games to date, Cunningham would provide an extra option for the away matches against Cyprus and Andorra.
"I know I can’t get back in the squad until I’ve six games under my belt," Cunningham said, "and although I’m making progress, I’ve haven’t set myself any comeback dates yet."
Originally, Wimbledon had hoped that Cunningham would return to first-team action in January, but that now appears unlikely.