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Cullen on mend after facial injury

Bryan Cullen is expected to make a quick recovery from the cheekbone injury that ended his involvement in Sunday's Leinster championship opener against Louth prematurely.

The Dublin captain was replaced at half-time by Craig Dias after he suffered a heavy facial blow in the eighth minute that forced a two-minute stoppage for treatment.

The side of his face swelled instantly and with the result in no doubt at the interval, the Dublin management opted to take him off.

He is expected to rest for a few days to allow the swelling to ease off, but whether he will be available for Skerries Harps in the Dublin championship later this week remains to be seen.

Michael Darragh Macauley is also a doubt for club action with Ballyboden St Enda's later this week after missing Sunday's match due to a leg injury sustained in a fall from his bicycle late last week.

His replacement Denis Bastick seized the opportunity with both hands for what was his first start of the season after damaging cartilage in his knee.

An operation left him trailing behind, but he believes the rest afforded to him by the break will do him good.

"I played all the league games the previous year and I felt that stood to me going into the championship. Maybe the rest is going to do the exact same for me this year," said Bastick. "Less is more sometimes and it seems to be going well."

He appreciates that the team cannot afford to stand still and rely on what got them over the line last year. "If we try and do the same as last year I don't think it's going to be enough, so we need to try and improve on that, be machine-like and do whatever is needed."

His return and Eamon Fennell's decent showing puts pressure on the Dublin management for the next match against the winners of the Wexford/Longford replay.

"The competition is good in one sense," admitted Bastick. "You know if anything's going wrong there's someone else there to come in and do the job."

Irish Independent