Coughlan on track to boost Rebels' summer charge
CORK manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy has received a massive pre-championship boost with the imminent return of attacker Jamie Coughlan to full training.
Coughlan (21) missed out on Cork's entire NHL campaign after undergoing hip surgery in February, but the Newtownshandrum attacker is now firmly on course for a Munster SHC semi-final against Clare or Waterford on June 23.
Coughlan's return to full fitness will help in some way to offset the blow of losing Paudie O'Sullivan to a broken leg. Coughlan, whose absence from the Cork set-up was keenly felt during the league as the Rebels slipped out of Division 1A, has been working closely with team physio Declan O'Sullivan as he steps up his recovery.
Sunday's glamour challenge match against Tipperary in Cloughduv will come too soon for Coughlan, but Castlelyons clubman Colm Spillane could return after missing the last couple of weeks with a hamstring problem.
Selector Seanie McGrath said: "Jamie has done his rehab very well and it's great to see him back. He's already back in with the squad, working with Deccie in the corner, twisting and turning. It's fantastic to see him back."
Otherwise, Cork expect to have a full squad to pick from for the visit of Tipperary. It was speculated recently that Niall McCarthy may come back to the squad after returning home from his travels, but as this point in time the Carrigtwohill powerhouse is considered unlikely to feature for the Rebels this summer.
According to Leeside sources, Barry-Murphy and his selectors have not made official contact with the player, while McCarthy (31) has not been in touch with management about a possible comeback.
Meanwhile, Galway footballers have received a huge boost with captain Finian Hanley returning to action in a challenge against Clare after being out for over three weeks.
The 28-year old played in a challenge match behind closed doors on Wednesday night and is now firmly back on course to lead the side out on Sunday week against Mayo in the Connacht championship.
The full-back played half the game against Clare at Pearse Stadium and suffered no ill-effects from the shoulder injury which has thwarted him since the middle of April.
"It's an unusual injury and took a long time to come right but I'm confident now that I will be fine to play against Mayo," said Hanley who had missed last weekend's challenge matches against both Donegal and Kildare.