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Brennan out again after fresh setback

GER BRENNAN'S season-long tale of woe has continued with another ankle injury setback ruling out any prospect of the long-serving Dublin defender seeing action against Donegal this weekend.

The two-time All-Ireland winner hasn't played a minute of football for Dublin this year, following various injury complications arising from his marathon club campaign with St Vincent's.

Given his lack of game-time, the likelihood now is that Brennan could end up missing the entire season even if the holders advance to another All-Ireland SFC final - but manager Jim Gavin hasn't closed the door just yet.

"Ger Brennan unfortunately won't be available for selection this weekend. He had a little bit of a setback last week. It won't be too long before he's back in training again," Gavin said at a Dublin press conference this morning ahead of Sunday's semi-final.

Dublin's regular centre-back during Gavin's first all-conquering campaign didn't feature in the league as he focussed instead on skippering St Vincent's to All-Ireland club glory last March.

Even that campaign was disrupted by injury - he underwent elective surgery for a stomach muscle injury last December and subsequently sat out the club semi-final against Ballinderry.

Dublin retained their Division One crown in his absence, and Brennan's prospects of forcing a championship recall were then scuppered by early-summer surgery to "tidy up" the ankle area.

IRRITATED

Now he has been dealt a further blow as Dublin gear up for the Ulster champions and what promises to be their serious test in defence of Sam.

"Ger just irritated his ankle again unfortunately. He was back kicking football with us, he was back playing, and he just irritated it again so it has been on ice for the last couple of days," Gavin reported today. "We're just taking one game at a time. We're not looking beyond the challenge we have on Sunday and unfortunately he's going to miss selection for that game."

With Brennan sidelined, the Dublin boss has started three different players at centre-back this summer - Nicky Devereux twice (against Laois and Meath), Kevin Nolan (against Wexford) and Jonny Cooper (against Monaghan).

Cooper had missed the Leinster final through injury but returned for the quarter-final in a new No 6 role, flanked by James McCarthy and Devereux, and the likelihood is that he'll remain there on Sunday.


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