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Blues hurlers' injury hex to sideline O'Carroll

DUBLIN'S hurler have suffered a new injury setback with Ross O'Carroll now set to miss tomorrow week's Leinster SHC opener with Laois in Tullamore (5.0).

O'Carroll, who this season rejoined the hurlers after a two-year stint with Pat Gilroy's football panel, had been in inspired form for his club, Kilmacud Crokes, but suffered an injury to his thigh in a recent challenge match with Waterford.

"Ross looks like he's out for sure," explained Dubs boss, Anthony Daly. "They're saying he's definitely out for the Laois match. If we got over that, they reckon he should be okay. He looks like he's out. At the minute, that's the way it is. He's doing his best. He's constantly in physio and he's doing his damnest to get back."

The Crokes man hit five points from play against Craobh Chiaráin in their Dublin SHC victory two weeks' ago but missed last night's rout of Ballinteer St John's.

O'Carroll forced his way back into the Dubs attack for their relegation duel with Galway, scoring a vital goal in the drawn match in Tullamore.

Dublin are also be planning for the clash with the O'Moore County without Ryan O'Dwyer (suspension). On a brighter note for Dublin, Alan McCrabbe appears to have put himself back in contention after hitting 1-10 for Craobh Chiarain in their facile Dublin SHC victory over St Pat's (Palmerstown) in Parnell Park last night.

It was initially feared the former All Star would miss the Laois match with an A/C shoulder joint injury but a swifter-than-expected return should facilitate his involvement.

Daly also revealed that his 'cruciate trio' of Conal Keaney, Stephen Hiney and Tomás Brady will all play against Carlow's conquerors but insisted he had yet to make up his mind if any would start. "I thought in fairness, Stephen was the best defender on view the other night (in Ballyboden's SHC defeat to Cuala). I thought he had a great game."

On Keaney, Daly added: "I couldn't but be impressed with Conal's work-rate the other night. He knows he needs a bit of sharpness - the perfectionist he is. But he had a powerful display in the first half on Tony Browne last week and there were signs of the way he was playing last year. I can't expect that the three cruciate guys will be fully back to where they were but I'm hoping that the three will be able to take part in the game anyway."