Thursday 19 April 2018

Fennelly a doubt for Leinster opener

Colm Keys and Cliona Foley

Michael Fennelly is the latest Kilkenny player to be facing a race against time to be ready for their Leinster semi-final on June 23.

The powerful midfielder had an X-ray in Ardkeen Hospital in Waterford yesterday which determined that he had fractured a bone in his ankle.

Fennelly, Hurler of the Year in 2011, had to be stretchered off during the second half of Kilkenny's resounding league final win over Cork on Sunday.

He will meet with surgeon Tadhg O'Sullivan tomorrow to assess the extent of the damage and discuss a recovery programme.

The initial indications are that Fennelly could be out of action for up to six weeks, but that time will be determined during consultation.

Fennelly joins Richie Power, Henry Shefflin, Michael Rice, Aidan Fogarty and Noel Hickey on the injury/recovery list.

Meanwhile, Kerry footballers' championship preparations have suffered a considerable blow with the shock departure of coach Donie Buckley from their back-room team. County board officials have stressed that the parting is amicable but there is still surprise that Buckley has left at this stage of the season.

The Castleisland native missed a lot of Kerry's league campaign after a knee operation.

In his absence the team's physical trainer Alan O'Sullivan took over a lot of his responsibilities and it's understood Buckley's decision was influenced by the fact he returned to find himself with a more limited coaching role.

Kerry's Munster opener against Tipperary is on May 27.

Irish Independent

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