Sport Gaelic Football

Thursday 22 March 2018

Conway to go under the knife

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kildare's Michael Conway is facing further surgery as his 20-month battle to get back playing competitively continues.

The stylish wing-back is on his way to Sweden in the next 10 days for surgery to repair cartilage damage on his 'good' knee, a procedure that will keep him out of Kildare's final two league games against Tyrone and Sligo.

Conway has been sidelined since rupturing his cruciate ligament against Wicklow in the 2009 qualifiers.

He missed all of last season and his recuperation has been slower than average for such an injury.

Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney confirmed that Conway still has a journey to travel to get himself right.

"He has to go to Sweden next week. He has a wee bit of cartilage damage on the other knee," said McGeeney.

"We didn't want to do that earlier in the year. It's been tough enough for the fella. We just wanted him back doing a bit of running and kicking a ball. Hopefully we'll see him coming up to the summer."

The return date for Kildare's other cruciate ligament victims is not yet clear. Dermot Earley is making progress but is looking at the latter end of the summer.

All Star corner-back Peter Kelly is back in the gym after his operation last month but hopes of him making a dramatic comeback later in the season are not encouraging.

"He'd be doing very well to get back," said McGeeney. "He's walking around. He's a tough boyo. He was trying to get rid of the crutches coming out of the hospital. He's doing bits and pieces in the gym already."

McGeeney confirmed that he has added Anthony Rainbow to his backroom team. Rainbow retired after last year's campaign and was installed as an U-21 selector.

But he has been elevated to the senior management and will operate in an advisory capacity, taking an overview from the stands during games.

"He's having a look at different things. I always like to get different points of view," said McGeeney.

"Contrary to popular belief, I don't believe I'm always right. It's good to get another set of eyes and I asked him to look at different things up in the stand. He's doing very well, giving us a different outlook.

Meanwhile, Meath will welcome Kevin and Graham Reilly back to training tonight as their battle to avoid relegation from Division 2 intensifies.

"We have Kevin Reilly, Stephen Bray, David Bray, Peadar Byrne and Graham Reilly, who should be in contention for the Derry match, so the likes of those will certainly help what we started on Sunday," said manager Seamus McEnaney, who was pleased with his side's performance in defeat to Kildare at the weekend.

"We'd be hopeful both Reillys will be able to play a part (against Derry). Stephen Bray is also home next week."

Bray has been on honeymoon for the last three months and his return will be a boost to an attack that badly needs his pace.

McEnaney remains confident that Meath can avoid the drop.

"We're a long way from the last game in the league and if it goes to the last minute against Tyrone in Navan and we survive and we get two more performances in an upward trend from where we were on Sunday, I'll be happy enough."

Irish Independent

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