Saturday 24 February 2018

Eoin Larkin in race against time for final after broken thumb

Kilkenny's Eoin Larkin
Kilkenny's Eoin Larkin

Michael Verney

Kilkenny's preparations for the All-Ireland final have been plunged into chaos with the news that star forward Eoin Larkin has suffered a broken thumb over the weekend.

Brian Cody's side were on a training weekend in Fota Island, where they also visited in 2012, when the James Stephens' attacker suffered the injury during a training game.

The 2012 All-Ireland-winning captain had X-rays taken and it is understood that he was put into a cast straight away. It remains to be seen how long the cast will be left on, with the recovery time generally between three and six weeks.

The 31-year-old was the most experienced member of the Cats side which put Waterford to the sword in the semi-final and while he has not yet been ruled out of the September 6 final, he faces a race against time.

Larkin, the 2008 Hurler of the Year, struck four excellent points as Kilkenny marched to yet another Leinster title with victory over Galway in July. His loss would be a big hit to their back-to-back bid.

The Kilkenny bench has been used sparingly in 2015, with John Power the only substitute involved against the Deise, and doubts about the fitness of the inspirational Michael Fennelly add to Cody's headaches.

It has been a tough few weeks for the Village as Larkin's clubmate Jackie Tyrrell suffered a stress fracture of the foot and will almost certainly play no part on the first Sunday in September.

However, it's not all doom and gloom for the champions, with Richie Power getting through a full training match - the Carrickshock man could yet feature against the Tribesmen, despite not seeing action during this year's campaign due to a persistent knee injury.

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