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Murphy hopes he can prove fitness for Dubs duel

WEXFORD captain David Murphy is bidding to make an unlikely comeback to action just in time for their Leinster SFC semi-final clash with Dublin.

Murphy's entire season was thought to be in jeopardy after he spent a full week in hospital with an infection in his leg.

But after returning to light training last week, the St Mary's, Rosslare man is attempting to force his way back to fitness in time for a third Championship meeting with the Dubs in four years.

“It sort of took over my right leg for a week or so but I'm on the mend now,” Murphy explained. “The doctors don't even know where it came from…they were saying there were people who have lost legs through it.”

Of the prospect of taking on Dublin for the third successive season, Murphy insisted: “We've been setting our sights on a Leinster title the last few years and it's no different this year…we will be well prepared. It's just a case of implementing the gameplan on the day.

“We prepared well for the team and tactics they set out before and our forwards on their day are as good as anyone. Also, I'm sure Dublin have underestimated us a small bit.

“We''ll be hoping they do it again this year but you would expect them to be a different animal.”

KIERAN McGEENEY has resisted tinkering with his Division 2 winning side and makes just one enforced change for Sunday's trip to Portlaoise to face Offaly.

Andriú MacLochlainn comes into the defence in an indirect swap for the injured Eamonn Callaghan although there are likely to be a raft of positional switches before throw-in.

Dermot Earley is expected to be named on the bench after sitting out last night's Leinster JFC win over Meath. Earley had been eligible for the Lilywhite juniors after missing out on senior action through injury last year and played in their previous two fixtures in a bid to further his recovery.

DERRY manager John Brennan has handed championship debuts to John McCamley and Eugene Scullion for Saturday's Ulster SFC quarter-final against Donegal although it is becoming increasingly likely that Eoin Bradley will not play any part.

Eoin, whose brother Paddy will make his 50th Championship appearance, is in the final stages of recovery from a torn cruciate ligament injury but suffered a setback in a recent club match.

KILDARE (SF v Offaly): S Connolly; A MacLochlainn, H McGrillen, P Kelly; E Bolton, M O'Flaherty, O Lyons; M Foley, P O'Neill; J Doyle, E O'Flaherty, A Smith; J Kavanagh, T O'Connor, M Conway.

DERRY (SF v Donegal): B Gillis; J McCamley, C McKaigue, SL McGoldrick; B McGoldrick, M Craig, E Scullion; J Diver, M Friel; G O’Kane, M Lynch, E Lynn; C Gilligan, P Bradley, E McGuckian.