World Cup road closed for Carr
By Peter O`Rourke. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR defender Stephen Carr has suffered World Cup heartbreak after being told he will not be fit to play in the finals.
The Republic of Ireland international had hoped to regain fitness to make Mick McCarthy's squad, but he has been advised by his specialist Dr Richard Steadman to rest the injury.
The attacking full back has struggled with a serious knee injury for over a year and has not played since last July.
The 26-year-old's knee has swollen and failed to respond to treatment and he faces eight weeks rest to finally cure the problem.
The only good news for Carr is that he will not have to undergo another operation on the knee and he should be able to begin pre-season training in July to prepare to return to action next season.
The news is a major blow for McCarthy as he had admitted that he would give the defender until the last minute to prove his fitness.
"Steve is a world class defender and I am prepared to wait as long as possible to give him a chance of recovering in time for the finals," McCarthy said last month.
"He's a lad who doesn't normally need a lot of work to get himself fully fit and were he to play the last four or five games of the season for Tottenham without any problems, that would be good enough for me."
McCarthy had earmarked the Dublin-born star as a certainty for his squad and will now have to decide between Leeds United ace Gary Kelly and Fulham's Steve Finnan for the right back slot.
Carr admitted he was disappointed to be missing out on the finals, but that he planned to come back next season.
"The end of the season has gone now," Carr told the club's official website. "The World Cup's gone and it's now about getting myself fit and playing football again. "I found out last week and it's a massive disappointment.
"I knew my season more or less had gone at Tottenham so I just wanted to get fit, play a couple of games and get into the World Cup squad but it's not to be for me this time."
"It's a blow being injured again but because you miss a World Cup it makes it even harder to take.
"For the last six weeks it's been hard. One minute I think I'm going tothe World Cup, the next I don't and I've been up and down like a yo-yo. But it's not to be and I know where I stand now.
"I've got my head around it now and the most important thing is to get back playing football again.
"I have to rest now. There is nothing to rush for and I can give it a real chance. I just want to be playing again."