Saturday 17 November 2018

Mayo boost as Keith Higgins returns to football panel

Mayo's Keith Higgins. Photo: Sportsfile
Mayo's Keith Higgins. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

The Mayo footballers have been handed a significant boost with the news that four-time All-Star Keith Higgins has returned to the squad.

Higgins played exclusively with the county's hurlers during the league and helped them win a Division 2B title, prompting speculation that he might not return to Stephen Rochford's set-up.

However, much to the relief of the county's supporters, the Ballyhaunis man returned to training over the weekend as Mayo ramp up preparations for their eagerly-anticipated May 13 clash with league finalists Galway in Castlebar's McHale Park.

Rochford had previously revealed plans to talk to Higgins after the league.

"We had left Keith to his own devices and hurling until the league was over so we will talk to him this week," explained Rochford. "We will look forward to hopefully having him on board."

Higgins' return is particularly welcome as Rochford will be without fellow defender and former Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan after he dislocated his shoulder in the league defeat to Tyrone, an injury that will likely see him miss up to four months.

Cillian O'Connor was also injured in that game but he is expected to be fit for the tie with their arch rivals.

It remains unclear as to whether Higgins will continue with the county's hurlers who open their Christy Ring Cup campaign the day before the footballers' clash with Galway.

Donie Vaughan and Chris Barrett are set to see action for their clubs as they step up their rehab after hip and knee injuries respectively.

Irish Independent

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