The veteran duo quit the international scene following Ireland's disappointing Euro 2012 campaign.
Reports had claimed that Keane would follow their footsteps and while he has confessed that retirement was an option, the LA Galaxy forward said that his desire to play for his country was too strong to surrender.
"Of course I thought about it. I considered it, but the thought of never putting on a green shirt again was quite difficult to come around to," Keane said.
"When Damien and Shay retired it was a sad day for Irish football, because they have been two of the best players this country has ever seen.
"Even now I am dreading that day. I will play as long as I can and as long as I am fit and healthy and as long as the manager picks me."
Keane will earn his 121st cap when he captains the Republic in their World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan on Friday.