Monday 22 January 2018

O'Neill ruled out of Roscommon clash

Tyrone captain Stephen O'Neill
Tyrone captain Stephen O'Neill
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

TYRONE captain Stephen O'Neill will miss Saturday's qualifier clash with Roscommon, but Joe and Justin McMahon are back in contention for a starting spot in Mickey Harte's side.

O'Neill is still receiving treatment for an Achilles injury which kept him out the Offaly win. Darren McCurry started instead of O'Neill and he helped himself to 0-8 as Tyrone got their back-door campaign up and running, and he's in line to keep his place.

"Stevie got an injection at the start of the week, so that would rule him out of this weekend, and he's due back training the following week, as long as we get through," said team trainer Fergal McCann.

"He should be good to go for full training from that onwards. It's just up to the others to get us through this weekend, so we can get him back. He had hoped to be involved this weekend but it's a matter of getting training time.

"The injection takes a while to take effect, and he can't train during that period."

Justin McMahon has recovered from his hamstring problem, while Joe, who featured late in the win over Offaly, has shaken off an ankle problem.

Justin missed last Saturday's game with a hamstring injury, while Joe came in as a late sub and suffered no ill-effects to an ankle injury that had hampered his preparations. Dermot Carlin could also return after his broken nose.

Meanwhile, Roscommon boss John Evans has been handed a triple boost with the return of Donie Shine, Cathal Shine and Ian Kilbride to fitness.

But the news is not so great for Donal Ward, who has been forced to leave the squad for the remainder of the season after succumbing to a hamstring injury, while there is also a concern about the fitness of Kevin Higgins for the weekend.

"Donie Shine is back in full training with us and is ready to go. Cathal Shine and Ian Kilbride are the same, they'll be ready," said Evans.

"Donie managed to come on against Mayo, but he was only back training at that stage, so it is great to have a player of his calibre back and fully fit.

"Cathal had a broken bone in his hand, but he had complications with it. He missed nearly three months."

Irish Independent

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