Monday 22 January 2018

Kernan likely to resist throwing fit-again ace Meehan back in at deep end

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Galway may elect to leave Michael Meehan in reserve for their Connacht semi-final against Sligo as the forward recovers from the medial ligament injury that has badly interrupted his season.

Meehan limped out of Galway's heavy league defeat to Kerry in late March and has been laid up ever since. But his recovery in the last couple of weeks has been strong and his completion of a full session last Sunday points to some involvement at Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

However, Galway may resist the temptation to throw him in at the deep end so soon after three months on the sidelines.

"We're happy with his progress. Michael has come on in leaps and bounds. He's done everything right and he's been a model in that regard," said Galway manager Joe Kernan. "He'll definitely play a part in the game, whether that's from the start or coming on."

Meehan is Galway's team captain and his importance to their summer ambitions could not be overstated.

"In fairness to our medical people, they said he would be out for eight to 12 weeks and that is the way it has worked out," said Kernan.

Gareth Bradshaw, Galway's most versatile defender, has also recovered completely from a calf injury to boost his prospects of starting the match. Niall Coleman, who injured his ankle two weeks ago, is also making progress.

Kernan is thankful that Galway have been lying idle for so long since their trip to New York at the beginning of May for the provincial quarter-final. But in different circumstances he admits that the situation would not be ideal.

"Eight weeks is a long time to be waiting for your next championship game. It suited us in one regard. We had injuries that needed clearing up. But ideally the gap would be four weeks," he said.

Effectively, this is Galway's first championship outing on home soil this season and the desire to get their year up and running is strong among the squad.

"There is a feeling of isolation but on this occasion it suited us," said Kernan. "Some teams already have three championship games under their belts."

Irish Independent

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