Monday 23 September 2019

Dubs ace O'Donnell in fitness race

Dublin's Eoghan O’Donnell. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Dublin's Eoghan O’Donnell. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

There will be a "late call" made on the participation of Eoghan O'Donnell in the All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-final against the Joe McDonagh Cup winners on July 6/7 after the Dublin defender picked up a "small hamstring tear" in their recent defeat of Galway.

O'Donnell has been one of Dublin's shining lights in recent seasons with a string of magnificent displays, but the full-back limped out of their Leinster showdown with the Tribesmen two weeks ago after just 14 minutes.

There were fears that it could spell the end of his season, but the Whitehall Colmcille powerhouse is confident he will feature in the coming weeks, although he's touch and go to play on Saturday/Sunday week as victory would set up a date with the beaten Munster finalists, either Tipperary or Limerick, a week later.

"I got a small tear in the Galway game very early on, which is disappointing," O'Donnell said at the launch of the AIG Cups and Shields in the Golfing Union of Ireland headquarters at Carton House.

"But I'm working very closely with the physios and working hard. We still have a bit of time, so there hasn't been a decision made either way - I'm just trying to give it as much time as I can.

"I'd love to be able to say I'll definitely be playing," added O'Donnell, as he admitted it's likely to be a late call next week after training.

"I'd really have to train on the Thursday or Friday," the 23-year-old said. "But it takes the pressure off a small bit that we have such a great team - that (Shane) Barrett slotted in at full-back seamlessly (against Galway) and James Madden came on."

While O'Donnell wanted to be playing in Sunday's Leinster decider, he will still head to Croke Park to keep a close eye on their next opponents in the McDonagh final.

GAA Newsletter

Expert GAA analysis straight to your inbox.

"I'd say I'd be going to it regardless, because Laois and Westmeath are two top teams and there's obviously a reason they're playing at this time of the year.

"Any hurling fan should go to support them - regardless of if we were playing them or not, or if we were knocked out. You'd be going in to see a good day's hurling."

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport