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No early return for Fennelly and Shefflin

THERE will be no dramatic return for Henry Shefflin for next Saturday's Leinster SHC semi-final replay in Portlaoise and nor, for that matter, will Michael Fennelly be available for Kilkenny, according to Brian Cody.

The Ballyhale Shamrocks pair and the last two Hurlers of the Year were present in O'Moore Park yesterday but neither were substitutes and both will be out for a further week, at least, with injury.

Kilkenny's third major injury absentee, Jackie Tyrrell, could be back, however, after Cody said that there was a "possibility" of a return next week for his James Stephens clubmate from the quad injury he sustained against Offaly a fortnight ago.

Tyrrell's possible return could be ideal too after Kilkenny's other regular corner-back, Paul Murphy, was stretchered off just before half-time with what looked to be a serious ankle injury.

Contacted earlier today, Kilkenny PRO Seamus Reade said there was still no definite word on Murphy's injury but early indications suggested there was no break. "It's not as bad as originally feared, but we still don't know the full extent of the damage."