Sunday 18 August 2019

Walsh 'touch and go' for trip to Wexford as Cody looks set to roll the dice

Kilkenny's Walter Walsh. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Kilkenny's Walter Walsh. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Brian Cody could be forced to roll the dice in Kilkenny's do-or-die Leinster SHC clash with Wexford tomorrow as a host of his top stars inch closer to full fitness.

Walter Walsh sat out the Cats' agonising defeat to Galway and wasn't listed among in the match-day squad having suffered an ankle injury, but he is nearing a return.

The towering Tullogher Rosbercon attacker is said to be 'touch and go' for the Cats, who will have a short summer should they lose to the Model men combined with a Dublin defeat of Galway in Parnell Park.

It is also believed that All-Star goalkeeper Eoin Murphy is coming back into the equation having made satisfactory progress from a fractured knee.

With Darren Brennan impressing as deputy, Murphy is unlikely to be risked having missed their three provincial games so far, while last year's captain Cillian Buckley could also feature. Buckley didn't appear off the bench last weekend but could slot into the defence having recovered from a knee injury.

The Dicksboro clubman hasn't featured since their All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Limerick 11 months ago while James Maher is another potential starter at Innovate Wexford Park.

Sprung Maher wasn't sprung into action against the Tribe despite recovering from a broken leg but is expected to play some part while Richie Hogan is another to come back into the mix.

Hogan has been injury-plagued in recent seasons with a crippling back injury greatly reducing his influence, but the 2014 Hurler of the Year may be needed from the start with victory assuring Cody's side of a Leinster final berth.

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Opponents Wexford have a clean bill of health with Jack O'Connor their chief concern after he had to sit out last weekend's comprehensive win over Carlow.

Meanwhile, talk that Galway star Joe Canning was in with a shout of playing in tomorrow's trip to face the Dubs looks wide of the mark.

Micheál Donoghue looks set to stick with the tried and trusted from their victory in Nowlan Park with the inspirational Canning slated to return should they book a spot in the Leinster decider.

Donoghue will be without John Hanbury with the corner-back having failed in his appeal at the Central Hearings Committee last night against the red card he received last weekend.

Dublin boss Mattie Kenny, however, has been boosted after Shane Barrett had the red card he received against Carlow overturned meaning he is free to play against the Tribesmen.

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