Dubs' linchpin O'Sullivan will be '100pc fit' for semi-final
Alarm bells rang in the minds of Dublin football fans when Jim Gavin confirmed last Sunday that Cian O'Sullivan had missed the Longford game with a hamstring injury.
Usually such an injury can be managed but, in O'Sullivan's case, it's more serious. He has been dogged with hamstring troubles throughout his career and a recurrence might have meant he could be facing a tricky summer.
However, he insists he'll be ready for their Leinster semi-final against either Laois or Kildare on June 28.
O'Sullivan believes he would have been ready to line out for Kilmacud Crokes in the Dublin SFC this weekend had the games not been postponed due to the county hurling side's replay with Galway on Saturday night.
"I had just a slight little nick on the hamstring there about ten days before the (Longford) game so I wasn't match-fit," O'Sullivan said at the announcement that Bank of Ireland would become Crokes' main sponsor.
"It's fine now. We had a club game scheduled for this Saturday and I would have played in that. But I hadn't enough training sessions under my belt to be in the reckoning for last Sunday.
"I haven't done the hamstring in a while. So it's just making sure now. And I have a bit of time of my hands, especially because the club game was postponed.
"Fortunately enough, the time of year that it is, we have time enough before Dublin are out again that I have time on my side.
"And I can take a little bit more time to make sure it's 100pc before going back into full training."
O'Sullivan could only look on as two debutants lined out against Longford in the positions where he might have been deployed. Both Brian Fenton and John Small made impressive bows at midfield and centre-back respectively as Jim Gavin flicked through his extensive list of options.
"There are three or four lads who have made the step up this year from the underage set-up. They're really putting their names into the mix.
"You always have to try and win the jersey back. There's fierce competition for places in the team at the moment.
"Training sessions are fairly intense and lads are putting their hands up for jerseys.
"Like Brian Fenton and John Small … they're really putting themselves into contention. There is some great competition there. It's a very tough team to get into in any position.
"In previous years, you might have said the forward line was harder to get into and tougher than in the back.
"But you look at any of the positions, it's very tough to get into there now."