Sunday 8 December 2019

Meehan injury news delivers welcome break for boss Kernan

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Galway breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when a scan on Michael Meehan's injured knee determined that he hadn't suffered a cruciate ligament tear.

Instead the damage was done to his medial ligament and, with bone bruising, he is expected to be out for between six to eight weeks. If Meehan had been ruled out for the season, Galway were looking at a bleak year ahead.

"It's a big difference being out for six to eight weeks and being out for six to eight months," admitted Joe Kernan. "Thankfully it's only the medial ligament and he'll start his rehab programme straight away."

Kernan didn't want to countenance what the absence of Meehan would have meant.

"We would expect to have him and Sean Armstrong fighting fit for the start of the championship," Kernan added yesterday.

Of more immediate concern now is the return of up to nine more players who are still on the injured list.

Gareth Bradshaw, now their most influential defender, is unlikely to be back for Sunday's visit by Tyrone as he suffered a recurrence of a heel injury last week. Declan Meehan, Kieran Fitzgerald and Fiachra Breathnach are expected to be available, however.

"It's a case of this Galway team standing up and being counted on Sunday next. There has to be a response. We need to find four points from six in our next three games," said Kernan.

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Elsewhere, JJ Delaney will miss Kilkenny's next two league matches because of a shoulder injury sustained in Cork last weekend.

Delaney left Pairc Ui Chaoimh in a sling after defeat to Cork, but fears that it was ligament damage have been allayed. He will, however, miss the games against Dublin and Limerick.

Kilkenny's fading league hopes won't be boosted by the return of any of the six members of the All-Ireland winning team who missed last Sunday.

Selector Martin Fogarty has cast doubt on the return of Michael Kavanagh, Michael Rice, Derek Lyng or Richie Hogan for Sunday's trip to Parnell Park, while he also confirmed Henry Shefflin and the Ballyhale contingent won't be asked to make themselves available.

Kavanagh has not yet returned to training, while Rice and Hogan remain on the injured list.

Meanwhile, Limerick's clubs will be served notice of a special meeting to vote on Justin McCarthy's future in the next 24 hours.

Clubs who originally submitted correspondence but without correct motions of no confidence in the manager have been back in contact with Limerick secretary Mike O'Riordan.

Limerick PRO Helen Cross said last night that the secretary had received correspondence and once that was deemed to be in order, notice of the meeting will be given.

The most likely date is next Tuesday night, two days after Limerick host Tipperary in their fourth round league tie at the Gaelic Grounds.

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