Wednesday 13 December 2017

Sligo sweat over O'Hara and Kelly for Galway clash

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

SLIGO footballers have major fitness worry over David Kelly and Eamonn O'Hara ahead of this Saturday's Connacht SFC semi-final against Galway.

The Yeats County were without both men when they trounced New York 4-21 to 0-6 in their provincial opener four weeks ago, yet both were expected back for this one. But continuing injury problems mean Sligo manager Kevin Walsh will be forced to make a late call on their fitness.

O'Hara had made a comeback this year from last season's cruciate injury and was in line for a start against the Exiles, but he hurt the same knee in training in Gaelic Park. He has not been able to take a full part in training since and looks extremely doubtful.

On top of that, Kelly has suffered a setback in a club game. The Tubbercurry forward has been dogged with ankle injuries in recent seasons. The DCU student missed most of last year with an ankle problem and then injured his other ankle this season.


There were high hopes that he would return to the Sligo jersey this weekend, but one of his ankles flared up again after a club game two weeks ago.

"He's trying to take part in as much of the training as he can, and he's getting a lot of physio treatment," selector Paul Taylor said. "He's in fairly decent shape."

Their opponents have an injury worry over Damien Burke who recently revealed that he had successfully battled testicular cancer in the last six months.

The Corofin man has had a quad injury since before Galway's first-round win over Roscommon. "Hopefully he will be able to get back this week and will be ready in time," Galway manager Alan Mulholland said.

Elsewhere, Donegal are hopeful that midfield star Rory Kavanagh will be back in time for their Ulster SFC quarter-final against Derry. The Letterkenny man damaged ankle ligaments in a club game 10 days ago, but he could be back training early next week which would make him available for Ballybofey on Sunday week.

Donegal corner-back Paddy McGrath (quad) is not considered a doubt and full-forward Michael Murphy (medial knee ligaments) returned to training last week.

Irish Independent

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