JEFF Kenna has given Blackburn Rovers boss Roy Hodgson another potential headache after being stretchered off with ankle ligament damage during last night's friendly international in Dublin.

But Rovers are optimistic that Damien Duff, Marlon Broomes and Tore Pedersen will all have recovered from injury to rejoin the squad to face Wimbledon on Saturday.

Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy said of Kenna today: "The injury is not as serious as we first feared."

And the defender was substituted immediately to prevent further damage.

But there must be a question mark over the full back's chances of playing against Wimbledon when Rovers know they have to halt a disastrous run if they are to retain a realistic chance of qualifying for Europe.

The squad were training this afternoon and waiting for their internationals, including Kenna, to return from duty.

Rovers already have four men, Garry Flitcroft, Billy McKinlay, Jason Wilcox and Colin Hendry, out through suspension this weekend.

Assistant manager Tony Parkes said: "We will have to wait for Jeff to come in before we can determine the extent of the damage.

"If it is too bad for him to play, then we will have five players out but we have cover at full back."

The injury came in the closing stages of last night's friendly when the Republic were beaten 2-0 by Argentina.

Kenna went into a block tackle when Gabriel Batistuta played the ball and was hurt.

Hopefully, he has just tweaked the ligaments rather than done anything more serious.

On a brighter note, Duff is expected to recover from his groin strain for Saturday and both Broomes and Pedersen, who have had hamstring problems, should also be fit. Several players have been away on international duty including keeper Alan Fettis, who kept a second successive clean sheet for Northern Ireland as they defeated Switzerland 1-0 in Belfast.

His Ewood team-mate Stephane Henchoz played the full 90 minutes for the Swiss.

The three Scots seemed to come through the 1-1 draw with Finland without any problems but, of course, Hendry and McKinlay are suspended on Saturday.

Kevin Gallacher had been a pre-match concern, because of a throat infection, but he was able to be used as a second half substitute so that will come as a relief to Rovers.

Manager Roy Hodgson was one of the guest speakers and panellists at Soccerex 98 in Paris today, alongside such prominent names in the game as Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter, the FIFA general secretary who has announced he will stand as a candidate for the ruling body's presidency.

It is the third annual Soccerex conference and exhibition, taking place at the new Stade de France and will provide a showcase for the latest thoughts on the game, as well as services and products.

The conference will have a World Cup flavour and address topics such as the shortage of world-class players, transfers, agents, finance, merchandising and stadium design and management.

The Supporters' Association are staging a "Funny Money" social night in the International Suite at Ewood tomorrow night (7pm for 7.30pm). Anyone without tickets can pay on the door (£5 including supper).

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