ROVERS keeper Alan Miller could be in line for a dramatic recall from Scottish exile after Alan Kelly suffered a freak injury while on duty with the Republic of Ireland.

Kelly was set to face Russia at Lansdowne Road this evening but injured a knee in training on Monday.

He was at Brockhall today undergoing intensive treatment.

Although the knee is swollen and painful, an initial scan revealed no serious damage, but he is a big doubt for both Saturday's FA Cup clash at Middlesbrough and the Worthington Cup final.

Rovers boss Graeme Souness was hoping that Amercian keeper Brad Friedel comes through tonight's clash in Italy as any injury to him would leave him without any senior cover.

If Miller did return from St Johnstone, he would not be eligible for Saturday's game as he would not be registered in time, paving the way for one of teenage keepers Keiron Renton or Ryan Robinson to have at least a place on the bench.

After picking up the training ground injury, Kelly said: "I wouldn't mind, but it was a really good save!

"Clinton Morrison was clean through and, as he shot, I instinctively thrust out my foot.

"But I got my studs stuck and twisted my knee all the way round.

"There's a lot of swelling on my knee but the MRI scan showed there isn't any serious damage."

"Thankfully, I'm a quick healer and I'll be at Brockhall today. The physios there are the best in the business so we'll have to wait and see."

Kelly was likely to have been given a run out tonight in the first of four matches over the coming months as part of the Republic's build-up towards this summer's World Cup finals in Korea and Japan.

The 33-year-old, who joined Rovers for £700,000 from Sheffield United in 1999, has spent most of the season on the bench as understudy to Friedel.

He had been on the transfer list, but established himself as number two following the departure of John Filan to Wigan.

Miller has endured a tough time in Scotland, getting used to regularly picking the ball out of the net as St Johnstone remain rooted to the bottom of the table and he has conceded some howlers along the way.

If Kelly's injury proves serious Souness may explore the opportunity of brining in some experienced loan cover, while Scottish youngster Renton was in goal for the reserves last night.

The good news for Kelly, however, is that it shouldn't do his World Cup prospects any harm.

"There's 16 weeks to the World Cup and Mick McCarthy has indicated that the three keepers involved against Russia (Kelly, Shay Given and Dean Kiely) would be going to the World Cup," he added.