Banner blow after injury rules O'Donnell out of semi-final tie
CLARE selector Mike Deegan has confirmed that 2013 All-Ireland final replay hat-trick hero Shane O'Donnell will miss the remainder of the Allianz Hurling League campaign through injury.
O'Donnell has been ruled out of this Sunday's semi-final against Tipperary and would also miss a potential decider against Kilkenny or Galway. O'Donnell (19) pulled a hamstring in training and is now targeting a club championship outing with Eire Og on May 17.
Deegan said: "We reckon that Shane will be out for up to four weeks. His big aim now is to be fit for the club championship."
Barring a setback or a recurrence, O'Donnell is not in any danger of missing Clare's Munster SHC semi-final on June 15.
There was some good news on the injury front for Clare last night, however, with a number of players due to return.
Colm Galvin, Jamie Shanahan, Conor Cleary and Cathal 'Tots' O'Connell were expected to train as the All-Ireland champions gear up for the clash with Tipp in Limerick.
Meanwhile, Seamus Hickey has handed Limerick hurlers a timely boost by returning to training with Donal O'Grady's squad. Hickey has been out of action since suffering cruciate knee ligament damage during last year's All-Ireland semi-final against Clare at Croke Park.
If the 26-year-old maintains his current rate of progress, he is likely to enter O'Grady's plans for the Munster SHC semi-final against Tipperary on June 1.
Elsewhere, Joe Canning will lead Galway out for the first time in his career on Sunday when he captains the Tribesmen in their bid to topple Kilkenny in the second Allianz Hurling League semi-final.
Galway centre-back Iarla Tannian and forward Niall Healy are in a race to recover from hamstring injuries for the clash.