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Blow for Cats as All Star defender Buckley emerges as major injury worry


Cillian Buckley. Photo: Sportsfile

Cillian Buckley. Photo: Sportsfile

Cillian Buckley. Photo: Sportsfile

Brian Cody is sweating on the fitness of Cillian Buckley with the former Kilkenny captain in a race against time to feature in this year's winter championship, having picked up a thumb injury.

Buckley is understood to have broken his thumb on club duty last month in what is the latest setback for the 28-year-old after struggling with a serious knee injury which hindered his participation in the 2018 and '19 campaigns.

The two-time All-Star defender was back to his best in this year's Kilkenny SHC as he inspired Dicksboro to the county final but he may be forced to sit out Kilkenny's Leinster SHC semi-final date with the winners of Dublin-Laois on October 31/November 1.

Buckley missed a challenge game against Clare last weekend and the rapid-fire nature of this year's Leinster and All-Ireland race may hurt his chances of featuring.

Talented Ballyhale Shamrocks forward Eoin Cody and Billy Ryan did excel in a comfortable defeat of Brian Lohan's Banner side, however, with Richie Hogan also making an appearance off the bench.

This Saturday in the Irish Independent we have a 24-page preview magazine looking ahead to the 2020 football and hurling championships, with all the content also available on Independent.ie. With breakdowns of every province in both codes as well as Colm Keys' in-depth look at potential Covid disruption, we have every angle covered heading into an unprecedented winter GAA campaign.

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