Reilly boost for Royals but Dowling out for Lilies
Graham Reilly will be available to Meath for their NFL Division 2 opener against Kildare in Páirc Tailteann on Sunday.
Royal County skipper Reilly is set be included in the match-day squad for the crunch tie, even though he is just two weeks out from playing in an All-Ireland Club IFC final with St Colmcilles.
The Bettystown-Laytown outfit take on Lee Keegan's Westport side in Croke Park on February 19 with Reilly set to continue lining out for both teams, as he has done so far in 2017. The news comes as a boost to Meath manager Andy McEntee, who will be without his son Shane and regular free-taker Mickey Newman for the game.
"Graham will be available on Sunday," McEntee confirmed. "After that we'll have a look at again because he has a final coming up and you have to be fair to his club as well."
Meanwhile, Kildare manager Cian O'Neill will have close to a clean bill of health for the match.
Only Emmet Bolton, who is recovering from an operation to remove his appendix, and Fionn Dowling, who is expected to miss around a month with a foot injury, are marked absent. Otherwise the Lilies will be at full strength as they look to gain promotion for the second successive year.
Seán Cavanagh has been held in reserve for Tyrone's Division 1 opener at home to Roscommon.
Cavanagh, who is entering his 16th season of inter-county football, played the second half in last weekend's McKenna Cup final win over Derry but he is named on the bench for the Healy Park clash.
Mickey Harte has made six changes from that side.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Colm Lavin and midfielder Tadhg O'Rourke will make their debuts for Roscommon when they travel north. Ciaran Murtagh will skipper Kevin McStay's side.