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Callaghan's injury woes set to continue

KILDARE footballers are bracing themselves to be without Eamonn Callaghan for most of the Allianz Football League.

The versatile Naas clubman has been troubled by a groin injury dating back to last year's championship, and a long bout of rest hasn't cured the problem to date. Now, according to Kildare selector Niall Carew, the likelihood is that he will undergo surgery.

"He is talking to our medical team at the moment. I'd say what will happen is he will probably go for that operation -- he would probably go to Manchester to get it done," Carew outlined.

"It's the sort of injury that is not getting any worse or any better. It's restricting him in preparation for games."

On the proviso that any such operation proves successful, the likely recovery period is six weeks and manager Kieran McGeeney would then hope to have Callaghan back in April.

"I would say Eamonn himself would want to go for it," Carew suggested. "You know your body better than any physio or doctor."

The same injury played havoc with Callaghan's involvement during the second half of Kildare's six-game championship odyssey last summer.

The defender-turned-forward was a late withdrawal for the Leinster final against Dublin, coming off the bench after 56 minutes. He was also on the bench for the qualifier against Wicklow, delivering a vital two-point cameo as a last-quarter sub, but was deemed fit enough to start the All-Ireland quarter-final against Tyrone.

Callaghan then played his part in helping Naas retain their senior championship status, winning a relegation play-off against Confey last September, but a long spell of subsequent rest hasn't worked the oracle.

Mikey Conway is "a bit behind" in his recovery from cruciate ligament surgery to both knees, but management are still hopeful that he could be back towards the end of the league.

There is better news regarding skipper John Doyle who, following keyhole knee surgery during the closed season, is fighting fit for the belated start of the O'Byrne Cup -- at home in Newbridge (2.0) to UCD this Sunday, weather permitting. Doyle trained on Sunday and is in "good nick," Carew reported.

Fellow forward Alan Smith didn't train on Sunday because of a back problem, but the injury isn't deemed too serious and he could well be available this weekend.

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