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Costello woe for the Blues


CORMAC COSTELLO faces a prolonged period on the sidelines with an ankle injury and could miss up as much as 10 weeks action for both the Dublin seniors and under-21s.

Last year's star dual minor suffered the injury in training with Jim Gavin's senior footballers over a week ago and a recent scan has revealed ligament damage to his ankle.

He played no part for the Dublin U21s in their overwhelming Leinster U21FC victory over Carlow in Parnell Park last night and explaining his absence afterwards, manager Dessie Farrell revealed: "Cormac's (injury) is long-term. We're still trying to get a handle on it but he has been told 10 weeks, so that will be a while."

Costello will now certainly miss all of Dublin's Leinster U21 defence should they continue to progress and is set to sit out the remainder of the Dublin senior's Allianz League Division 1 campaign.

The Whitehall Colmcille player kicked a point on his senior debut against Louth in the O'Byrne Cup and followed that up with a similarly impressive cameo in the final against Kildare, but is unlikely now to see any game time with Gavin's group this side of the championship barring an earlier than anticpated return to competitive action.

One of Farrell's other injury absentees, Philly Ryan, is however expected to play this weekend for DCU in the Sigerson Cup and will be available for selection for the Leinster U21 quarter-final against Longford on March 6 (in Parnell Park).

"Philly is a bit closer, I think," Farrell explained. "He might be hoping to see some action in the Sigerson this weekend."

That meeting with Longford comes just four days after the Dublin seniors line out against Mayo in their next Allianz League Division 1 outing, with a significant under-21 representation on Gavin's panel but it is unlikely that any will play against the Connacht champions.

"I'm working off the basis that they're unavailable (for the seniors)," Farrell explained, meaning their will be no league debut for Ciarán Kilkenny, who had been earmarked as a potential replacement for the injured Diarmuid Connolly against Mayo. Paul Mannion and Ryan would also have come into contention but for their U21 commitments.

Similarly, Jack McCaffrey has started both of Dublin's league matches to date while with Michael Darragh Macauley suspended, Emmet ó Conghaile might otherwise have been in contention for a start.