Our outstanding defender was yesterday ruled out of Mick McCarthy’s Irish squad for next weekend’s World Cup qualifier against Holland.
If Ireland win, they will guarantee a play-off spot in the group and still have an outside chance of going through to the finals outright if Portugal slip up.
But Steve will miss out. He has a nagging knee injury that ruled him out of the final weeks of pre-season, our opening Premiership fixtures and now international duty.
He explained: “I’ve been told to completely rest and do nothing with my lower body. Hopefully it will calm down. How long that will take I don’t know, hopefully not too long.
“It’s disappointing because I’ve missed the start of the season with it.
“It’s a very big season for us all. After playing a good few games in pre-season and getting my fitness levels relatively high and then having to stop and do nothing is quite difficult.
“It’s wear and tear, a lot of games, a lot of training and it’s just given me a bit of grief.
“It’s been there for a while but I thought it would go away but it hasn’t and so now I have to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t go chronic. Hopefully I’ve got it in the nick of time.”
Steve knows Ireland are in for a tricky test against the Dutch — not least after their impressive show in last week’s friendly win against England at the Lane.
“It will be difficult,” he said. “We’ve Holland next and we need at least a draw and then beat Cyprus at home to get second place.
“If Holland have a full side out it will be very difficult. They have to go for it and need the win so there is a lot of work to be done.
“I hope we do it. We’ve topped the group for a long time and it would be nice to qualify. They are a very good team, quality players all over. It will be a tough one.”
Stephen Carr is despondent to miss the start of the season — including Ireland’s biggest game for years.