Sunday 28 May 2017

Fennelly facing race to be fit for Cats' opener

Michael Fennelly Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Michael Fennelly Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Kilkenny star Michael Fennelly admits he's "cutting it very tight" to be fit for the Cats' Leinster championship opener against Antrim or Wexford on June 11.

Fennelly broke a bone in his hand in the league clash against Offaly and suffered a setback when the cast was removed last week.

"The X-ray showed up that it wasn't fully healed," said the 2009 All-Ireland winning captain. "I have to wear the splint now for two weeks. I don't have that many weeks left until championship. I am cutting it very tight now."

The Cats have picked up injuries to Fennelly, JJ Delaney and Tommy Walsh, while Henry Shefflin and John Tennyson recover from long-term knee injuries.

And after their disappointing league final loss to Dublin, Fennelly agreed that they are off the pace in the race for Liam MacCarthy.

"It's unbelievable the way it changes. We were runners-up last year and were in the league final this year and were well beaten, now we're maybe third or fourth best," he said.

"It's amazing how it can go from one to the other in a couple of months.

"That's public opinion and it's probably right but it's up to ourselves to get back to scratch. It's going to be a great championship. Everyone else is on par, with Tipperary maybe ahead of the rest.

"Producing that game against Dublin at Croke Park wasn't nice. We are looking to gain our momentum again in training. Training has been a bit flat.

"It hasn't been as good as it should be. That has been down to the players basically."

Irish Independent

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