O'Leary brothers out of NHL opener with Laois

Timmy Sheehan

Kerry will have to cope without Brendan and Michael O'Leary for this weekend's National Hurling League opener with Laois in Austin Stack Park (Sunday, 2pm).

"The two O'Learys are missing," new Kerry boss Fintan O'Connor confirmed this week.

"Definitely for the first two league games they are out. In the long term for the next four / six weeks. Tommy Casey is awaiting surgery on a wrist, he again, is going to be long term, possibly won't play any of the league matches, so that's three.

"John Egan picked up a knock, he is out for the weekend as well.

"Rory Horgan is a doubt, with a hamstring problem, so look this time of year with the amount of training they are doing the amount of games they are after playing in the last three / four weeks you are bound to pick up knocks.

"We definitely are no different from any other team. We still have twenty nine to pick from, but they are five guys who have plenty of experience and will be a big loss to us.

" Tom Murnane is back training, he will definitely figure in some of the league games later on in the year."

A particular loss will be Michael O'Leary whose physical presence and ball winning capabilities was a huge factor when Kerry last beat Laois in Tralee.

"Michael O'Leary was exceptional against Laois here last year in the league and we don't have that option under puck outs as a ball winner.

"I done a lot of looking at videos of Laois games and Michael was always a fellow that was involved in an awful lot of scores," O'Connor continued

"The stats of last year's game I think he had a hand in about seventy per cent of the scores that we got, so missing him, in particular is a problem."


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