Sunday 19 January 2020

Dublin fears grow for All Star Con O’Callaghan after freak warm-up injury

Con O'Callaghan. Photo: Sportsfile
Con O'Callaghan. Photo: Sportsfile

Conor McKeon

THE shoulder injury suffered by Con O’Callaghan prior to a Sigerson Cup match last Sunday is now Dessie Farrell’s primary injury concern.

Farrell is continuing the process of piecing together his maiden League team selection as Dublin manager.

Farrell will take his first training session with the majority of his panel this evening, less than a fortnight before facing Kerry, after the 2019 squad returned from a team holiday to Bali over the weekend. Dublin take on the Kingdom in Farrell’s first league match in charge on Saturday week in Croke Park.

With Stephen Cluxton already likely to miss all of the competition, Farrell now has issues over O’Callaghan.

There has been no indication yet as to the severity of the shoulder injury O’Callaghan suffered in the warm-up to UCD’s Sigerson Cup opener against UUJ, with the Cuala dual player scheduled to see the Dublin medical team to have it assessed yesterday.

However, given the delicate nature of such injuries, Dublin will likely be cautious about exposing the 2017 Young Footballer of the Year to action too soon.

Some shoulder injuries carry a high risk of recurrence if not properly rehabilitated before engaging full contact.

O’Callaghan suffered the injury performing a straight-forward exercise before the Sigerson Cup game, which UCD won, and was treated briefly on the pitch.

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He remained at the venue and didn’t appear to be in any discomfort as he watched John Divilly’s team get their Sigerson campaign off to a winning start.

O’Callaghan, 23, has endured a hectic few years of football and hurling activity at inter-county, club and third level but has so far managed to avoid serious injury.

He did, however, miss Cuala’s Dublin SFC ‘B’ semi-final defeat to Round Tower, Lusk after suffering a leg injury in the county hurling final.

He was consigned to the role of second half substitute as the Dalkey club were beaten by Carlow side, St. Mullin’s in the Leinster club SHC.

Farrell won’t be shy of attacking options when he decides on his team to face Kerry but he will be eager for O’Callaghan to play some part during the league.

Due to Cuala’s involvement in the All-Ireland club hurling championship in 2017 and ’18, last year was O’Callaghan’s first significant involvement in the competition.

It preceded his best championship campaign so far with Dublin, in which O’Callaghan won his second All Star and was nominated for last year’s Footballer of the Year award.

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