Parsons and Barrett ready to return for Mayo
Published 19/07/2016 | 02:30
Mayo will welcome a trio of injured players back into the frame for their fourth-round qualifier against Westmeath on Saturday week.
Fresh from home wins over Fermanagh and Kildare, manager Stephen Rochford will have Tom Parsons (right), Chris Barrett and Conor Loftus back in contention for that game.
And Kevin Keane, who hurt his shoulder against Kildare on Saturday night, is also expected to be passed fit but will have a scan later in the week to confirm that there is no lasting damage.
Keane's withdrawal prompted Aidan O'Shea to slot back into defence against the Lilywhites to cover the threat of Kevin Feely.
Defender Barrett has missed the entire championship so far because of ongoing hamstring injuries, and given his impact last year Mayo will be happy to see him return.
Midfielder Parsons has been a loss as he too had come strong in the last 18 months.
All three have returned to training in the last week, with Rochford confirming that they'll be in the frame.
Meanwhile, Keith Higgins feels the team is very much heading in the right direction after Saturday night.
"We're going in the right direction the performance was a bit better than last week against Fermanagh," said the defender.
"If we can up it again next week against Westmeath, we'd be happy."
Young forward Diarmuid O'Connor, who scored a spectacular goal against Kildare, is providing the older players with fresh impetus, dual star Higgins said.
"The guy would run all day long. He has a phenomenal engine and he can run all day long," explained Higgins.
"As he showed with the U-21s, he relishes that leadership role."