Tribesmen in injury crisis
BOTH Galway and Wexford are facing deepening injury worries ahead of their Leinster SHC clash in Nowlan Park on Saturday week, WRITES DONNCHADH BOYLE.
Galway boss John McIntyre was forced to call off last night's scheduled training session after confirming that they had an astonishing 21 players nursing knocks.
The biggest concern surrounds All Star Ollie Canning, who was unable to play for Portumna at the weekend after suffering an ankle injury in training. He joins the likes of Damien Hayes, Ger Farragher, Niall Healy, Donal Barry and Eanna Ryan on a long injury list.
"In all my years involved in team management, I've never seen anything like this," McIntyre said. "Players are dropping like flies as the club action and hard ground takes its toll. The situation is a big worry with the Wexford game so close."
Model County boss Colm Bonnar will have to plan without defenders Richie Kehoe (knee) and Paul Roche (hamstring) as well as forwards PJ Nolan (thigh), Willie Doran (elbow) and Tomas Waters (groin) as they look to shock the Division 1 champions. The news is much better for Laois manager Niall Rigney, who expects his side to be at full strength for Saturday's preliminary round tie with Carlow.
The Portlaoise native was without star players John Brophy and Shane Dollard for the last number of weeks, but the duo have declared themselves fit for Saturday's encounter while Carlow look set to be without Eoin Nolan and Ruairi Dunbar.
Cavan star Seanie Johnston has warned that he is unlikely to be fit for the Breffni men's Ulster SFC opener with Fermanagh on June 12. The Cavan Gaels clubman dislocated an elbow during DCU's successful Sigerson Cup campaign and faces a race against time to be available to Tommy Carr.
"I have only played five minutes for the club, and that was only the other day," he said. "So I still wasn't right. It will be very difficult to be back for the first round because that is only three or four weeks away and that is a huge step up."
Meanwhile, Dessie Dolan played his first comeback game for Westmeath last night in a challenge against Mayo.