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Gardiner concern for Championship opener for Mayo

PEADAR GARDINER will miss the rest of the NFL and could even be struggling for the start of the Connacht championship after the Mayo vice-captain broke his elbow during the opening minutes of yesterday's defeat to Dublin.

"I'm just after hearing that Peadar Gardiner has a bad break in his elbow and he'll be out for probably three months. So, that's kind of registering on the Richter scale as we speak," revealed a downbeat John O'Mahony afterwards.

The Mayo boss was unsure how the injury happened although he made reference to the condition of the McHale Park pitch, which appeared quite sandy and not easy to play on.

A three-month lay-off would leave Gardiner struggling to make Mayo's testing SFC opener against Sligo. That takes place in Markievicz Park on June 5 -- 13 weeks away.

More immediately, midfielder Ronan McGarrity is a doubt for their Division One trek to Derry next Saturday night, having suffered a hamstring injury which forced his 21st minute exit against Dublin.

The Sky Blues will be hoping that captain Paul Griffin makes a rapid recovery from the back problem that caused him to make a late withdrawal yesterday, his wing-back place going to Hugh Gill instead.

"He just had a pinched nerve in his back," manager Pat Gilroy explained. "He thought he'd be able to play, he was trying to loosen it out (on Saturday and yesterday morning), but he went to sprint out there and it was just too much pain so we had to take him out at the last minute."

McCarthy set to call time on Kerry career

KERRY look poised to suffer a fifth major defection from last year's All-Ireland winning team, with manager Jack O'Connor admitting it's unlikely that Mike McCarthy will now return to inter-county football.

"You can never say never with Mike. He was not coming back last year either but we managed to convince him. He has other (family) commitments now outside of football and they are important as well," O'Connor revealed after Kerry's belated first National League win of the season, at home to Derry.

McCarthy dramatically emerged from retirement for last year's qualifiers, having quit in the wake of Kerry's 2006 All-Ireland triumph, and the three-time All Star duly helped inspire the county to another senior All-Ireland -- his fourth.

Kerry have already lost Darragh ó Sé and Diarmuid Murphy to retirement while Tadhg Kennelly has resumed his AFL career and Tommy Walsh has also been lost to Australian Rules.