Wednesday 23 October 2019

It's business as usual for Cody, insists Fennelly

Brian Cody
Brian Cody
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

THE Kilkenny panel had no idea Brian Cody would be back at training on Sunday but Michael Fennelly insists it was business as usual after 'the Boss' made his return.

The Kilkenny manager hasn't been directly involved with the squad since undergoing heart surgery on April 4 with Michael Dempsey and Martin Fogarty taking joint charge of the All-Ireland champions.

Cody (right) was consulted by phone during the league final but he made a surprise return to training in person as the Cats up the ante in the preparation for their Leinster championship opener away to Offaly on June 9.

"We didn't know to be honest," admitted the 2011 Hurler of the Year Fennelly. "It was a nice surprise but things go on as normal. Brian is back but Martin and Mick have held the fort well over the last few weeks. Things go on as usual, it felt like Brian was there as it was but it's back to normal.

"It's great to see him back and it's two weeks before championship which is good time to be coming.

"His health is key and whenever he felt right he was going to come back. I think the players are mature enough to get on with things

"Things would have went on okay too, I don't think if we had slipped up in a game it would have been because Brian was there or not. Lads are mature enough and old enough to get on with things too but it is great to have him back."

Cody's return comes as the Cats prepare to take to championship action without talisman Henry Shefflin for the first time since 1998. Fennelly is also out of that game having picked up ligament damage to his left ankle while in action for his club.

The Ballyhale Shamrocks man picked up a similar injury to his right ankle last year but he indicated he could be fit for the Leinster semi-final with either Dublin or Wexford should the Cats advance past Offaly.

"It was a worry because I went over on it in a similar way and it felt the same so I thought I could be gone for another three months which might be the whole championship.

"I got a bit of a fright but thankfully it's not as bad as that.

"I got an X-ray that night and there was no sign of a break. Everyone thought there was a break because the swelling was so bad.

"I iced it for a few days and I went for a scan. I'm still waiting on the results of that but it will hopefully be three or four weeks."

Fennelly's Ballyhale team-mate TJ Reid's rehabilitation from injury has continued as he has featured for his club in recent weeks.

Irish Independent

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