Thursday 24 May 2018

High hopes for speedy Gooch return

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Colm 'gooch' Cooper has been detained in hospital overnight following successful eye surgery yesterday. There is, however, optimism that Cooper will be cleared to play football again in two to three weeks' time and will be available for Kerry's opening Munster SFC clash against Tipperary on May 16.

Cooper travelled to Dublin on Monday for consultation with an eye surgeon after an accidental collision with a Monaghan opponent early in Sunday's Killarney league match. It was established that Cooper suffered a damaged tear duct that required necessary repair work. He will make a full recovery.

The All-Ireland champions commence championship preparations in earnest tonight, when Mike McCarthy will resume full training. There will also be interest in whether or not Aidan O'Mahony is present. O'Mahony missed the recent training trip to Portugal despite being scheduled to travel.

Cork's Eoin Cadogan, meanwhile, faces the prospect of missing both league finals after sustaining a stress fracture in the foot.

The dual star sat out most of the hurlers' recent training camp in Portugal and now looks set to miss out on the league finals in football and hurling on successive weekends.

He requires rest of between four to six weeks, which would incorporate the football league final against Mayo and the hurling final seven days later against Galway.

Elsewhere, Down forward Benny Coulter is rated doubtful for the NFL Division 2 decider against Armagh at Croke Park on Sunday week. The Mayobridge man suffered a rib injury in the league victory over Laois last Sunday.

The priority for Down will be to have Coulter available for the Ulster SFC opener against Donegal on May 30.

Former Offaly star Michael Duignan is to take over coaching duties at Portumna as they bid to capture their fourth Galway SHC title in a row.

The team will again be managed by former Portumna wing-back Johnny Kelly.

Irish Independent

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