Kilkenny lose Fogarty for four months as injury woes mount up
KILKENNY'S injury jinx has struck again with Aidan Fogarty set to miss most of the rest of this season with a severely broken ankle and midfield star Michael Fennelly also joining their packed casualty ward.
Two of the four injuries Kilkenny suffered against Offaly last weekend were not as serious as first feared, with Richie Hogan and John Dalton just suffering sprained ankles.
But Fogarty, the man of the match in the 2006 All-Ireland final, has two broken bones in his ankle and is expected to be out for close to four months.
Fennelly also has a broken bone in his hand but the recovery period for that is usually three to four weeks.
Of the other two, Dalton's sprained ankle is worse and is likely to keep him out of the Division 1 league final but Hogan could yet make that.
These latest losses add to the Cats' extraordinarily long injury list, which already included Henry Shefflin, John Tennyson (both rehabilitating after cruciate injuries), Richie Power (groin operation), Tommy Walsh (shoulder injury) and JJ Delaney (hamstring), though Power and Walsh are both close to a comeback.
Kilkenny's proliferation of injuries, on top of those suffered all around the country last weekend, have again raised questions about this season's heavy casualty rates.
Dublin's hurlers have also reached the Division 1 final despite a plethora of injuries and All-Ireland champions Tipperary have also been unusually badly affected, with midfield star Shane McGrath their latest casualty.
He was carried off against Wexford on Sunday but an X-ray yesterday confirmed that he has escaped with a bruised ankle and is expected to be back in training by the end of the week.
Yet, Tipperary's team trainer, Dr Cian O'Neill, believes they have just been particularly unlucky and does not believe the current injury blitz is related to hard ground or particular training regimes.
"We have had a run of injuries that could best be described as completely random and freaky," the Kildare man said.
"I know it is a big talking point at the moment, especially in my home county where I think they've had eight cruciate injuries in the past year or so, but it just seems to be a bad run.
"The ground is unusually hard at the moment for this time of year, which definitely puts more stress on joints but, with Tipp, all of our injuries have been just accidents."
These include Eoin Kelly (broken finger) and Patrick Maher (broken hand), while Brendan Maher broke his ankle while pucking a ball around at his home.
Yet there was another spate of injuries to inter-county players last weekend and Tyrone's Joe McMahon's injury is particularly serious, not least because he was struck, off-the-ball, in a club game.
His club, Omagh St Enda's, confirmed yesterday that his jaw was broken in two places, that he lost several teeth and needed surgery, and they noted that "he was felled during an incident which was not witnessed by match officials," which gives Tyrone County Board very little evidence to go on in their disciplinary proceedings.