John O'Shea has backed former Manchester United colleague Darron Gibson to return to the Republic of Ireland squad in the not too distant future.
Gibson pulled himself out of Giovanni Trapattoni's plans for the start of 2014 World Cup qualifying, claiming he was not in the right state of mind after enduring a frustrating time Euro 2012 to compete internationally.
Sunderland defender O'Shea, who played alongside the Everton midfielder during their time together at Old Tafford, understands Gibson's decision but is confident this is not the last Irish fans will see of the 24-year-old.
"I'm sure he will be back sooner rather than later," he said ahead of a meeting with Kazakhstan on Friday.
"I have not spoken to him but I spoke to the manager about it and they have had a chat and they have come up with this decision.
"Darron felt he was not right at the minute to come in, but fingers crossed when he is ready he will be because he would be a good addition to the team."
Meanwhile, Trapattoni has echoed comments made by his assistant Marco Tardelli regarding Ireland's chances of coaxing Damien Duff out of international retirement.
He said: "My philosophy is never say never.
"In the near future we will speak with him. I think he can change his opinion."
Trapattoni has also revealed that Sunderland winger James McClean is a slight doubt for the Kazakhstan clash as he continues to struggle with a cold.
He added: "McClean came here with a sore throat.
"I think he will be okay in one day. Then we will make a decision. That's all we can do."