Okunbor suffers serious shoulder injury in Na Gaeil’s All-Ireland semi-final loss

Stefan Okunbor in action for Na Gaeil against Steelstown before he suffered a serious shoulder injury late in the game. Photo by Michael Donnelly

Paul BrennanKerryman

Kerry senior panellist Stefan Okunbor has suffered a serious shoulder injury, which looks like it will delay his return to the Jack O’Connor’s squad after Na Gaeil crashed out of the All-Ireland Club Intermediate Football Championship this afternoon.

Okunbor’s injury caused a 20-minute delay at the very end of the match before the Tralee man was taken from the Connacht Centre of Excellence by ambulance, after medics stabilised him with what is an unconfirmed dislocated shoulder.

Na Gaeil were trailing by 1-6 to 0-7 to Derry champions Steelstown Brian Ógs when Cahir McMonagle broke through on the Na Gaeil goal. He was tripped by goalkeeper Devon Burns trying to going around the goalkeeper before Okunbor fell awkwardly over his own goalkeeper and landing heavily on his shoulder.

Medics took 20 minutes to stabilise Okunbor before he was transferred to the ambulance and taken to hospital for assessment. Na Gaeil manager Mark Bourke didn’t want to speculate on the nature or seriousness of the injury other than to confirm it was a bad shoulder injury.

Okunbor returned to Ireland towards the end of 2021 after a spell in the Australian Football League with Geelong Cats, and after playing county championship with St Brendans and impressing with Na Gaeil, he was called into the Kerry squad by Jack O’Connor.

The former Kerry U-20 footballer started for Kerry against Limerick in the McGrath Cup three weeks ago, playing 35 minutes at midfield.

Against Steelstown in today’s All-Ireland semi-final he started at midfield but had moved to full back in the second half.

Okunbor would have been expected to re-join the Kerry squad next week along with club mates Jack Barry, Andrew Barry and Diarmuid O’Connor, but it seems he will be sidelined for some time now depending on the seriousness of this latest injury.