NOEL CONNORS is skeptical as to whether Maurice Shanahan can play a part in Sunday's Munster SHC clash with Cork in Thurles.
Shanahan - a natural replacement for Pauric Mahony as the Déise's first choice freetaker - suffered a bruised knee in a club match just after Waterford's League final win over Cork and recently, manager Derek McGrath described the Lismore forward's chances as "50/50".
"Look, 50-50 coming up to the week of a Championship match, I don't think you can go out," said Connors (inset).
"Like, if you're even 99 per cent I don't think you can go out and play Championship.
"It's a hostile environment trying to get it over the line, if you're not 100 per cent committed and mentally focused and mentally or physically prepared then you might as well sit in the dressing-room really.
"That's probably a small bit harsh but it's Championship mode now and it could be a small thing, a slip, that could win a match.
"I think Derek (McGrath) would be very tuned into where Maurice is with his fitness."
On Mahony - who will miss the rest of the season with a broken fibia, Connors insisted: "Pauric will be there alright, he'll play a massive role regardless of his contribution from play or from being on the team.
"He'll have the same approach, the same rituals whatever they may be," added Connors.
"It'll just be another day for Pauric and I don't think anyone will get too fussed up about him being on crutches."
"Ultimately he 'll be there talking in fella's ears and just having the conversation."