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No 'Gooch' return until next season

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Colm Cooper, Kerry. Munster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Tipperary v Waterford, Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, Co. Kerry. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile.

Colm Cooper, Kerry. Munster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Tipperary v Waterford, Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, Co. Kerry. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile.

Colm Cooper, Kerry. Munster GAA Football Senior Championship, Semi-Final, Tipperary v Waterford, Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, Co. Kerry. Picture: Matt Browne/Sportsfile.

EAMONN Fitzmaurice has admitted to occasionally toying with the vague notion of Colm Cooper playing a part for Kerry in this year's Championship but conceded that the 'Gooch' will not don the green and gold again until next season.

"He's doing very well but it will be 2015 before he's back playing football - it's as simple as that," explained the Kerry manager.

"Some nights, you'd be looking at him in the stadium and he's kicking and he's running in straight lines and he's hopping on trampolines and he's doing everything and you'd be saying 'it looks like there's 10 minutes in him' but I'm afraid not."

Cooper suffered a cruciate ligament tear in action for Dr Crokes in their AIB All-Ireland club semi-final defeat to Castlebar Mitchels back in February but Fitzmaurice explained: "He's in with us every night in training.

"He's there with us, doing his own work. The lads are doing rehab with him. He's a presence in our team meetings and if he's a point to make he'll make it and he's free to make his points. He's still a very important part to the group.

"He's been back in with us since we've been in Killarney basically, since we've been back in the stadium since 
April/May.

rehab

"He's been ever-present really unless he's working in Dublin or something. He's been getting his rehab work done, he's been part of the group and it's good for him because that rehab work can be very lonely if you're doing it on your own.

"Whereas if he's doing it on the side of the pitch and he's the best of care in terms of physios and the backroom team helping him out and he's doing it with the group. He's enjoying it.

"Obviously, he's finding the game days difficult because he wants to be playing but he enjoys being inside with the group and he has made very valuable input to the group."

Jimmy's answering questions

THIS Friday Dtwo Bar Nightclub on Harcourt Street with host 'An Evening with Jim McGuinness & Special Guests' including Donegal players Michael Murphy and Karl Lacey. The Questions and Answers will kick off in the Dtwo Bar at 8pm with all proceeds from the event are in aid of the Donegal training fund.

FIXTURES

SATURDAY

ALL-IRELAND U21HC SEMI-FINALS (extra-time if necessary)

Thurles: Antrim v Clare, 4.0, P O'Dwyer (Carlow) LIVE TG4

Thurles: Galway v Wexford, 6.0, D Kirwan (Cork) LIVE TG4

ALL-IRELAND U21HC 'B' SEMI-FINALS (extra-time if necess)

Inniskeen: Kildare v Tyrone, 2.0, S Cleere (Kilkenny)

Ennis: Kerry v Roscommon, 2.0, T Carroll (Offaly)

ALL-IRELAND JFC FINAL (extra-time if necessary)

Portlaoise: Cavan v Kerry, 3.0, J Henry (Mayo)

SUNDAY

ALL-IRELAND SFC SEMI-FINAL

Croke Park: Kerry v Mayo, 3.30, D Coldrick (Meath) RTE/SKY

ALL-IRELAND MFC SEMI-FINAL (extra-time if necessary)

Croke Park: Kerry v Mayo, 1.30, S Hurson (Tyrone) LIVE TG4


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