Quinlivan ankle scan gives Tipperary hope
Michael Quinlivan could miss Tipperary's first qualifier game, after he sustained ankle ligament damage on Saturday evening that forced him to withdraw from their Munster semi-final defeat to Cork after only 19 minutes, writes Colm Keys.
Quinlivan's absence for the remainder of the game probably denied Tipperary a second successive Munster football final against Kerry, given how the current All Star could have broken the grip that Cork took on midfield during the second-half as they cut into a five-point deficit.
Quinlivan has had a scan on the ankle and manager Liam Kearns is thankful nothing is broken.
"It's ankle ligament damage, it's badly bruised. We don't know how long it will take, it's too early to say. He's on crutches," said Kearns.
Ankle ligaments can take up to six weeks to heal and Tipperary have a month before their second-round qualifier game.
Shane O'Connell and Liam Casey also picked up injuries on Saturday and O'Connell is certain to miss the next day with a stress fracture in his foot, according to Kearns.
"We're destroyed with injuries, bad ones. Shane looks to be in trouble, Liam also has ankle ligament damage. He did it in the first five minutes and played half a game," he said.
With Quinlivan and Casey withdrawing, Jack Kennedy out with a hamstring injury, and Peter Acheson based in Dubai, Tipperary's midfield options were depleted for that second-half as Cork took control.
However, Kearns expects Kennedy back the next day, while a scheduled return for defender Willie Connors is also on the cards.
"We've just had a horrendous run with injuries. Last year we got the same 15 on (for five successive championship games). I said it would never be done again, it was a miracle how we went through a whole championship with the same 15 players. What has happened this year really brings it home."
Kearns also said he was still unsure about what contribution Philip Austin could make as he continues to deal with a groin injury.