Wednesday 17 January 2018

McCarthy latest injury worry for the Kingdom

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Mike McCarthy has emerged as a fresh injury doubt for Kerry ahead of Sunday's Munster SFC semi-final with old rivals Cork.

McCarthy sat out training on Monday night with an Achilles heel problem and is in a race against time to be ready for the Killarney showpiece.

The news comes just as the injuries that have affected the preparations of Kieran Donaghy and Paul Galvin look like clearing up.

Meanwhile, Tyrone have taken somewhat of an unprecedented step in calling off half of their first-round SFC games nearly three weeks in advance of their Ulster semi-final with Down on June 19 because of fears over the potential for injuries to some of their county players.

Since Mickey Harte has taken over as manager, Tyrone have had quite a liberal approach to allowing their players turn out for their clubs in league and championship, but this marks a departure from that policy.

Three games were played last weekend, but only one of the remaining five will go ahead next weekend as originally scheduled.

The Coalisland/Clonoe tie, which involves only one county squad member -- reserve 'keeper Johnny Curran -- will take place on Sunday.

The remaining four have been deferred until the weekend of June 26/27 and could face further delays should the Tyrone-Down game end in a draw.

Tyrone county chairman Ciaran McLaughlin has defended the decision to postpone the games.

"We had to look at the fixtures that were presented, and the fact that, in that second week, there were so many of the county panel involved.

"What it meant for the county manager was that for the period of two weeks after the first-round game against Antrim, he would not have a full panel," said McLaughlin.

"The first time he would have his panel of players would have been the Tuesday after that, which is only 11 days before the Ulster semi-final," he added.

In Derry, Paddy Bradley has signalled his intention to retire at the end of this year's championship after 11 seasons with the team.

Meanwhile, Galway are to appeal Andy Smith's sending-off against Wexford in a bid to have the Portumna star available for the Leinster SHC semi-final against Offaly on Sunday June 20.

Smith, who had earlier been booked, received a straight red card for a heavy frontal challenge on Wexford's Colm Farrell on Saturday.

Galway manager John McIntyre confirmed an appeal will be on its way once official notification is received.

"We don't want to lose Andy Smith for the Leinster semi-final, that is the bottom line, and we don't feel we deserve to lose him. I'll appeal anything if I feel that there will be something successful from it.

"All I ask is that the GAA legislators would look at the referee's report, that John Sexton would look at the incidents again before he sends in his report, and do a second take on it.

"I love to see referees putting their hands up and admitting their mistakes, it takes courage to do that," said McIntyre.

Irish Independent

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