Wednesday 21 March 2018

'Cha' tipped to replace injured Rice

Fitzpatrick: Potential return.
Fitzpatrick: Potential return.
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick looks set to be recalled to the Kilkenny team for Sunday's All-Ireland hurling semi-final with Cork.

Fitzpatrick is in line to replace Michael Rice, who is only having the plaster removed from his hand today after breaking a bone in a club game three weeks ago.

Rice has been Kilkenny's most prominent midfielder over the last two seasons but is unlikely to be risked, with Fitzpatrick tipped to get the nod ahead of Derek Lyng.

There is no confirmation that John Tennyson has suffered cruciate ligament damage in a training-ground incident on Wednesday last week. But the centre-back has effectively been ruled out by the injury after an excellent cameo when he came off the bench in the Leinster final to replace Brian Hogan.

Hogan is understood to have performed well in a training match on Saturday and will again fill the No 6 role. The Kilkenny team is otherwise expected to be along predicted lines, with Aidan Fogarty putting pressure on Martin Comerford in attack once again. Richie Hogan is responding well to treatment on an ankle injury he sustained in training two weeks ago and could make it on to the bench.

Sean Og O hAilpin is expected to take his place in the Cork half-back line after recovering from a hamstring injury. But fears are growing in Cork that Shane O'Neill will run out of time in his bid to beat a similar injury.

O'Neill picked up the injury in the drawn Munster final against Waterford and has not trained properly since.

Jerry O'Connor is also a doubt despite making progress and is unlikely to be included when the Cork team is finalised on Thursday night. He too has been carrying a hamstring injury since the drawn Munster final.

Irish Independent

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