Just minutes after the Republic's manager, Mick McCarthy, had named Keane in his 20-man squad in Dublin, news filtered through that the midfielder had suffered a dead-leg during Manchester United's Champions' League victory over Rapid Vienna on Wednesday.
"It's a big disappointment for us. Roy was really looking forward to this game. He wanted to perform well and show what type of player he is at international level," McCarthy said.
It has been a frustrating time for Keane since being sent off while the acting captain in the final minute of the 2-0 defeat by Russia in Dublin on 27 March. Since then he has missed eight successive internationals through suspension, injuries and a controversial decision to absent himself from the Republic's end-of-season friendlies.
Brian McAllister has been called up by Scotland for their World Cup Group Four matches in Latvia and Estonia on 5 and 9 October. The uncapped defender, who has had loan spells at Plymouth and Crewe, has rarely been a regular choice during his six seasons with Wimbledon, but he has now forced his way into the plans of Scotland's manager, Craig Brown.
Another newcomer to the squad is the Aberdeen striker Billy Dodds, Britain's top scorer this season with 14 goals, and there was a recall for Paul Lambert, once of Motherwell but now playing in Germany for Borussia Dortmund. The German national coach, Berti Vogts, recommended Lambert to Brown, who is without Everton's Duncan Ferguson and has also named three players with fitness doubts: Stuart McCall, Ally McCoist and Tosh McKinlay.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD (World Cup Group Eight v Macedonia, Lansdowne Road, Dublin, 9 October): A Kelly (Sheffield Utd), Given (Blackburn), Irwin (Manchester Utd), Babb (Liverpool), Kenna (Blackburn), Fleming (Middlesbrough), Breen (Birmingham), Harte (Leeds), Cunningham (Wimbledon), Staunton (Aston Villa), Townsend (Aston Villa), Keane (Manchester Utd), Houghton (Crystal Palace), McLoughlin (Portsmouth), McAteer (Liverpool), Moore (Middlesbrough), O'Neill (Norwich), Aldridge (Tranmere), Cascarino (Marseille), D Kelly (Sunderland).
SCOTLAND SQUAD (World Cup Group Four v Latvia, Riga, 5 October and v Estonia, Tallinn, 9 October): Boyd (Celtic), Burley (Chelsea), Calderwood (Tottenham), Collins (Monaco), Dodds (Aberdeen), Durie (Rangers), Gallacher (Blackburn), Gemmill (Nottingham Forest), Goram (Rangers), Hendry (Blackburn), Jackson (Hibernian), Jess (Coventry), Lambert (Borussia Dortmund), Leighton (Hibernian), B McAllister (Wimbledon), G McAllister (Coventry), McCall (Rangers), McCoist (Rangers), T McKinlay (Celtic), B McKinlay (Blackburn), McNamara (Celtic), Spencer (Chelsea), Walker (Aberdeen), Whyte (Middlesbrough).Reuse content