Boost for Mayo as fit-again Mortimer and Harte join training panel
Published 19/10/2011 | 05:00
Conor Mortimer has been recalled to the Mayo football squad as manager James Horan begins preparations for the 2012 season.
Mortimer was part of a gathering convened by Horan over the weekend for a two-day fitness assessment.
Pat Harte, another long-term injury victim, also accepted an invitation to attend.
Mortimer and Harte have been laid up all season with cruciate ligament injuries that required surgery.
But the absence of established squad members Mark Ronaldson and Dermot Geraghty from the weekend has raised doubts as to whether they are part of the plans for next season.
Geraghty has been a regular corner-back, while Ronaldson is a useful corner-forward.
Goalkeeper Kenneth O'Malley, Neil Douglas, James Kilcullen and James Burke were others from the 2011 squad who were not present for the weekend tests, which suggests that they too may be out of Horan's immediate plans.
Horan has cast the net wide in his search for new players and one of the new youngster who underwent the tests was Conor O'Shea, younger brother of Aidan and Seamus, who were Mayo's midfield pairing against Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Mortimer has played with a much weakened cruciate ligament for most of his career, but by building up the muscle around the knee he had been able to support it without having to have surgery.
But an injury prior to Christmas while playing for University of Ulster in Jordanstown -- where he was studying for a masters in sports management -- eventually forced him to go under the knife in February.
His return will add obvious attacking options to Mayo, while Harte, who damaged his cruciate while playing for his club Ballina in August 2010, will offer versatility.