ALAN McCrabbe has rejoined the Dublin senior hurling panel. The 2009 All Star sat out all inter-county action last year owing to work commitments but has accepted an invitation from Anthony Daly to return to his county set-up and will be part of their squad for the forthcoming season.
"We invited him back when we were meeting up at the end of October," explained Daly. "We asked him was he interested in giving it a full shot and how he was fixed with work and he was 'mad for road'. It's good to have him back. He's only 27 and he's a real quality hurler. He's very focused."
The Craobh Chiaráin man is nursing a broken hand, however, and will not be part of the squad for Saturday's competitive opener against UCD in Parnell Park in the quarter-final of the Walsh Cup.
Having sustained the injury in a club football match late last year, McCrabbe is now out of cast and is expected to be fully fit in time for Dublin's Allianz League Division 1A opener against Galway on February 16.
As it stands, the only player definitely ruled out of that first game is Paul Schutte, who underwent surgery on his thumb last Monday.
The Cuala defender, who established a starting spot in 2013, sustained the blow during a recent challenge match and despite initially suspecting a dislocation, subsequent MRI scans revealed more severe damage to the base of the digit.
Schutte will be out for eight weeks from the date of his operation.
For Saturday, Daly will be without the college-tied Liam Rushe, Niall McMorrow, Seán McGrath (all DIT), David Treacy and Tom Devlin (both UCD).
Treacy is also recovering from a slight hamstring twinge and would likely have been rested anyway.
Michael Carton, Martin Quilty and Eamonn Dillon (all hamstring) will also be unavailable, as are Danny Sutcliffe (hip), Niall Corcoran (groin), Shane Ryan (quad) and Adam McGreal (hip flexor). Oisín Gough, meanwhile, is set to rejoin the panel in the coming weeks after an extended winter break.