Sunday 11 December 2016

Fives '50-50' for Déise as Model suffer further blows

Michael Verney

Published 23/06/2016 | 02:30

McGrath indicated that management will give him every chance to prove his fitness for the July 10 clash. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
McGrath indicated that management will give him every chance to prove his fitness for the July 10 clash. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Waterford could be without Darragh Fives for their Munster SHC final showdown against Tipperary next month with manager Derek McGrath giving him a "50-50" chance of lining out.

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The Tourin defender picked up a quad injury in recent weeks but McGrath indicated that management will give him every chance to prove his fitness for the July 10 clash with a "last-minute call" to be made on his participation.

"He has a torn quad muscle, going into his hip flexor. He's obviously getting as much treatment as possible, but it'll be a last-minute call," McGrath said.

"If he's playing we'll name him on the Friday night, but if he's not we won't name him. It's dodgy given his history with injuries. He doesn't recover as quickly as the others.

"I'm slow to say we'd be hopeful, it's 50-50 at best. The big problem is that he won't have done anything for the four weeks since the Clare game. We're trying to marry that with risking him. It's a big call."

Fives has been an integral part of a waterproof Déise defence and McGrath believes his lack of availability would be a "huge loss" given his versatility across a range of positions at the back.

"He's a dominant player - good in the air, he's alternated in different roles for us this year, he's given us something different. He's aggressive . . . it's a pity because he's on top of his game, but we'll give him every chance," he said.

McGrath allayed fears of a knee injury to star man Austin Gleeson, who picked up some bruising in a club championship game with Mount Sion but trained fully on Tuesday night, while Tommy Ryan has recovered from a broken thumb and will be available for selection.

Meanwhile, Wexford's year looks to be going from bad to worse with another string of high-profile injuries hampering preparations for their crunch qualifier tie with Offaly on July 2.

There are serious worries over the fitness of star forward Conor McDonald after a knee complaint and he is facing a race against time to be fit for the Faithful tie, while talented defender Liam Ryan is nursing a broken thumb and is likely to miss out.

Shane Tomkins will play no further part after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury while forward Ian Byrne has parted ways with Liam Dunne's squad.

Dunne has been dealt several blows throughout the year with many key players absent and his luck shows no sign of changing.

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