Dundalk will find out next week the extent of the knee injury suffered by John Mountney.
The five-time league winner, who missed a large part of last season with an ACL injury sustained while playing for St Patrick’s Athletic against Dundalk at Oriel Park in August 2021, suffered an injury to his knee in a behind-closed-doors game against Shelbourne last month.
While the Mayo man – who will turn 30 on February 22 – has been assessed already, Dundalk are anxious to get a second opinion to determine the next course of action to take. This will take place on the eve of the season opener against UCD but, regardless of the outcome, it is expected that Mountney will be out for the foreseeable future.
Speaking about his former team-mate after his side’s Malone Cup match against Drogheda United on Friday, head coach Stephen O’Donnell said: “We’re waiting to hear about John Mountney. We’re just getting a second opinion on him.”
Another player who will miss the start of the season is Robbie McCourt. The former Bohemians and Sligo Rovers player was already suspended for the league opener with UCD on February 17 having been sent off in the 1-0 win away to Derry City on the final day of last season.
However, he will now miss three to four weeks having had surgery on his hernia last week.
In more promising injury news, O’Donnell says that minor knocks sustained by Paul Doyle and Nathan Shepperd, both ankle, won’t keep them out for any length of time and both had a chance of being involved against Wexford FC in the club’s final pre-season game on Tuesday night. He also welcomed Robbie Benson and Darragh Leahy’s late cameos off the bench in the Malone Cup for what was their first minutes of pre-season.
“Paul just kind of rolled his ankle in training yesterday,” said O’Donnell on Friday.
“He was going to start today but hopefully he’ll be all right to play on Tuesday. Nathan will be all right for Tuesday. Daniel Kelly will hopefully be back training in the next couple of days.
“I’m happy that we’re getting more bodies on the training ground. I like the profile of the players we have in and then obviously with Robbie and Darragh filling up the group and hopefully Daniel Kelly and Robbie McCourt coming back then we’ll look quite strong from a quality point of view maybe rather than a number point of view but we’ll have good quality,” he said.