Hurling

Thursday 31 July 2014

Cork skipper's summer in balance as he sweats over scan

Martin Breheny and Cliona Foley

Published 15/07/2014|02:30

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Cork captain Pa Cronin took a blow to the leg in the first half of Sunday's Munster final against Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Cork captain Pa Cronin took a blow to the leg in the first half of Sunday's Munster final against Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

CORK captain Pa Cronin will have a much clearer picture today regarding his prospects of being fit for the All-Ireland hurling semi-final on August 17 after the results of a scan become known.

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Team doctor Con Murphy revealed that an X-ray showed a hairline fracture of the fibula, but a scan was also taken to check for possible tendon damage.

Cronin took a blow to the leg in the first half of Sunday's Munster final and while he continued on, it was decided to withdraw him at the start of the second half.

He was replaced by Paudie O'Sullivan, who turned in an excellent performance, crowned by a crucial goal in the 65th minute which extended Cork's lead to six points.

It's almost five weeks to the semi-final so time is on Cronin's side, but Dr Murphy was reluctant to make any predictions as to his likely fitness until after the scan results are available.

Meanwhile, Monaghan footballer Kieran Hughes has still not returned to full training and will face an 11th-hour fitness test before next Sunday's Ulster football final.

Their barnstorming full-forward was withdrawn at half-time "as a precaution" in their replay defeat of Armagh due to the injury he picked up against Tyrone and has only been doing light training since.

That leaves serious doubts about his ability to start in a game of such magnitude.

It is a big rematch of last year's final when Monaghan's six-point victory stopped Donegal's bid for a provincial three in-a-row and won the Farney County their own first Ulster title since 1988.

Hughes is a key ball-winner in Monaghan's attack and was a huge factor in beating them last year when he scored 0-3 from play.

Midfielder Eoin Lennon will definitely not make it back in time but Gavin Doogan, their other main midfielder en route to their Division 2 title this year, came off the bench late against Armagh which puts him back in the frame.

Donegal reportedly have a clean bill of health with Rory Kavanagh set to make his first championship appearance this summer.

Neil Gallagher (hamstring) and new boys Odhran Mac Niallais (ankle) and Darach O'Connor (hamstring) have had knocks since but are reportedly ready.

Tipperary have received good news about Seamus Callanan and Gearoid Ryan ahead of their All-Ireland quarter-final.

Both men picked up injuries in last weekend's big win over Offaly when Callanan's great form continued with a personal tally of 2-10 (7fs).

He went off in stoppage-time with a finger injury and Ryan was gone at half-time after suffering what looked like a broken arm.

But neither injury is as bad as initially feared so both should make the All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin on Sunday week, which will be part of a double-header in Thurles with Limerick versus Wexford/Waterford.

The Munster minor hurling final replay between Limerick and Waterford is also fixed for Thurles on this day week (7.30).

Irish Independent

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