Burke leg break adds to Meath woes
Meath defender Mickey Burke has broken his leg in two places, it has been confirmed.
Burke was involved in a first-half collision as he grappled for possession on the ground against Laois on Saturday and required medical attention on the field.
He was taken by ambulance to the adjacent Tullamore General Hospital, where it was established that he had broken both the tibia and fibula bones in the lower leg.
Burke will miss the remainder of the season, joining Niall McKeigue and David Bray on the long-term injury list.
Meath's injury woes have been compounded by concerns over Anthony Moyles, Mark Ward and captain Nigel Crawford, which could seriously impact on their options at midfield ahead of their Leinster SFC semi-final against Dublin.
Crawford has not trained for almost two weeks with a back complaint, but there is optimism that he may be ready to play some part on Sunday.
Moyles limped out of Saturday's match with a hamstring injury, and Ward turned an ankle.
"We'll know more about their condition at training tonight," said Meath manager Eamonn O'Brien.
O'Brien said Meath have not yet decided whether goalkeeper Paddy O'Rourke, who was sent off in the second half against Laois, will seek a hearing once his charge has been confirmed.
O'Rourke was knocked over by Pauric McMahon but appeared to catch the Laois captain with his boot as he was getting up off the ground. O'Rourke had been awarded a free for the challenge, but referee Maurice Condon showed him the red card.
His absence will stretch Meath's resources further but in Brendan Murphy, they have arguably one of the best goalkeepers around to step in, while Cormac McGuinness is the obvious replacement for Burke at centre-back, having played there last year.
Meanwhile, Martin Flanagan is struggling to make Westmeath's semi-final with Louth, which follows the Dublin/Meath game. Flanagan has a heel injury that he sustained against Wicklow that has kept him out of action for the last few weeks.