Tuesday 26 September 2017

Connors in fitness race to face Rebels

Cork's Cathal Naughton alongside Waterford's Noel Connors at Helvick Head near Dungarvan yesterday ahead of the Allianz NHL game this weekend. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Cork's Cathal Naughton alongside Waterford's Noel Connors at Helvick Head near Dungarvan yesterday ahead of the Allianz NHL game this weekend. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Waterford's All Star corner-back Noel Connors is confident that he'll be fit in time to face Cork in Sunday's crunch Allianz Hurling League Division 1 showdown at Fraher Field.

Connors missed last Saturday's five-point defeat against Tipperary -- Waterford's first competitive defeat of the year -- after damaging ankle ligaments in training on the previous Tuesday.

The 20-year-old said: "I went over on the ankle and damaged the ligaments on the top side of it. I've got treatment on it since then. It's come on good and, hopefully, I'm in contention to play at the weekend."

Connors revealed that he is unwilling to undergo surgery to cure his problems.

"I did the ligaments in my ankle two years ago. I got over that. But ligaments are never going to heal unless you get an operation," he said.

"If you get that done, you're going to be out for a while. I don't really want that, so I can get it done in a few years if I want.

"I just need to look after myself and keep getting it strapped. Strength-ening it up now is the main thing."

The Passage star added: "You have to watch yourself, your food and liquid intake, so that you perform on the day.

"There are so many aspects to look at. This time, it's my left ankle again -- I think I'll have to saw it off at this stage!"

Waterford lined out against Tipperary last Saturday with just six starters from August's All-Ireland semi-final between the two counties.

However, manager Davy Fitzgerald's options have been boosted this week with the return of De La Salle duo John Mullane and Kevin Moran.

But Fitzgerald warned: "It might take them a week or two to get into it. I don't see them coming straight back in. Deccie Prendergast is coming back from injury; Eoin Murphy is still a small bit away."

Fitzgerald added that Eoin McGrath, who damaged ankle ligaments at the end of January, is still four weeks away from a return to action.

And the manager predicted: "We will ship another beating or two in the league -- it will happen, but if they play like they did against Tipperary, I'll accept that."

Irish Independent

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