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Ferguson fit but camp heads home
Published : 09 Sep 2012 12:47:36
Northern Ireland have been boosted by the return of Newcastle's Shane Ferguson ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg.
Ferguson, who can play at left-back or in midfield, missed Friday's trip to Russia with a groin problem but has been passed fit to rejoin the squad in Belfast and took part in training on Sunday morning.
There was also one withdrawal for Michael O'Neill's side, with goalkeeper Lee Camp returning home for personal reasons.
The Nottingham Forest number one was dropped to the bench for the 2-0 defeat in Moscow, with veteran Roy Carroll back for his first competitive appearance in six years.
Trevor Carson has been called up as cover.
Meanwhile, manager O'Neill will continue to monitor the fitness of Manchester United's Jonny Evans before making a decision on his availability.
Defender Evans admitted to feeling pain in his ankle throughout the Russia match, which may concern his club boss Sir Alex Ferguson, but joined his team-mates in their morning workout.
Speaking at Northern Ireland's training facility at Queen's University, O'Neill said: "Having Shane back is a big bonus for us. He's not had a lot of football but he's had a good bit of work with his club. We knew we couldn't get him for two games so it was important we had him for this one.
"Lee spoke to me and asked to be relieved from the squad for personal reasons. Obviously I didn't delve too much into a player's personal situation, there are some things outside of football that are more important."
O'Neill confirmed there had been no contact with Manchester United over Evans, adding: "We have no major concerns over Jonny but we just have to manage him between now and Tuesday. If there's any risk we wouldn't take that risk and neither would Jonny."