Shay okay! - February 20, 2001

Newcastle United 'keeper Shay Given has received the all-clear to line out for the Republic of Ireland against Denmark tomorrow week, despite his dislocated finger.

Now Given is set to take over in goal from Alan Kelly and claim his 27th senior cap.

The Donegalman was back in training yesterday after dislocating his little finger in the Premiership match against Charlton.

"I have had the hand X-rayed and there is no permanent damage, nothing broken," said Given. "The finger is taped up and it's still a little bit sore, but it's nothing that would prevent me from playing."

The 24-year-old has had to bide his time since losing his Ireland jersey to Kelly at the start of the season and then relinquishing his Newcastle place to Steve Harper. A month ago things looked black for him when he slapped in a transfer request at his club - but that's all changed now.

He returned to the Magpies first team three games ago when Harper suffered a groin injury and is now set to win back his Ireland place. Kelly played in the three World Cup qualifiers to date but has not featured in the Blackburn first team for three months and Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has no option but to examine his alternatives.

Given was in goal for Ireland's last outing, against Finland, and will retain his jersey for the visit of the Danes.

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