Shoulder injury setback sees Whelan likely to miss Galway U-21s' date with Déise
Published 23/08/2016 | 02:30
Galway manager Tony Ward admits that he's "holding out no hope" for senior star Conor Whelan's chances of playing in the Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U-21 hurling final against Waterford on September 10.
Whelan, 19, sustained a suspected dislocated shoulder playing against Dublin in last Saturday's semi-final win at Semple Stadium - and he also took a heavy knock to the head during the game before going off.
Whelan was due to be scanned at the Galway Clinic late last night but the latest indications are that he will play no part in the county's first U-21 decider since 2011.
Ward said yesterday: "He's not getting the scan until 10.20 tonight. He's in an awful lot of pain and at this point in time, we're holding out no hope. It doesn't look good - it looks like a dislocation. He's a tough bit of stuff and we're hoping that it's not dislocated, that it might just be muscular.
"For him to come off, it had to be very sore. He played there on Saturday and if you saw the back of his hand… it was stood on the week before (senior semi-final against Tipperary) and out like a balloon."
Ward is also concerned about the prospect of a full round of club fixtures next weekend - a scenario that is also causing Waterford management some concern on their local circuit. The majority of Galway's first-choice team will be in action for their clubs, plus a number of substitutes, and while Ward requested a postponement, county board chiefs insist that the fixtures will go ahead.
Ward added: "We didn't make an issue out of it. We asked, they couldn't do it and we didn't go too deep into it. They're the powers that be."
Despite nursing a shoulder injury, Waterford star Austin Gleeson will come under pressure to line out for his club Mount Sion against Cappoquin next Saturday.
Mount Sion have lost their two fixtures in their six-team group and badly need to get off the mark to enhance their chances of a top-four finish.
In the West intermediate championship, Ballysaggart could also do with the points against Clashmore/Kinsalebeg but one of the club's key men, Shane Bennett, is carrying an ankle injury that forced him off against Antrim.
Waterford U-21 management have requested a postponement of all club fixtures before the All-Ireland final and they were due to receive a response from board chiefs last night.
Gavin gets final say
Brian Gavin will take charge of next month's All-Ireland SHC hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary in what will be the Offaly referee's fourth senior decider.
Westmeath's Barry Kelly is on stand-by duty for the showpiece while Wicklow's John Keenan is the man in the middle for the minor final pitting Tipperary against Limerick.