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Slow recovery hampers Dubs

DUBLIN hurling manager Humphrey Kelleher will have to plan for his opening Leinster SHC tie without the services of David Curtin and Dave Sweeney.

The Ballyboden duo are both on the mend but will not make it in time for next weekend's clash against either Kildare or Westmeath - whichever county is still standing after the six subs riddle is unravelled.

Curtin, who was Dublin's top-scorer in the league with 0-33 (22 frees, five '65s'), has had the plaster removed after suffering a broken knuckle, while Sweeney is recovering from a broken thumb. If Dublin win, both are expected to be available for the Leinster semi-final on June 13.

This comes on the back of the injuries which have already ruled out Shane Martin and Derek O'Reilly, while Kevin Flynn is an injury concern.

On the flip side, Keith Wilson and Simon Daly will be available for selection. Their four-week bans - imposed following their red-card sendings off in separate games - will be up midweek.

Risteard Brennan, Pádraig Fleury (St Vincent's) and Seán McCann (St Mark's) have been added to the Dublin panel, while Stephen Callinan (St Brigid's) has opted out due to work commitments.

Meanwhile, UCD's difficulty could turn out to be St Mark's opportunity in tomorrow night's Dublin SFC first round replay in Parnell Park (7.0).

Many of the Belfield side will be on duty with their native counties, but manager Dave Billings is expecting close to a full turn-out, even if players have to play two games in the one day.

Conor Evans, Niall McNamee (both Offaly), Tom O'Connor (Meath), Donal O'Donoghue (Westmeath) and Brendán Ó hAnnaidh (Wicklow) are all starters in tomorrow's Croke Park double-header, while Ray Ronaghan and James Coyle will be in action for Monaghan against Armagh.

Tonight's scheduled SFC replay between St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh and Ballinteer St John's has been postponed due to the bereavement of Paddy McGrath, father of senior footballer Paul.

Senan Connell and Bryan Cullen have returned to training with the county footballers after missing last Sunday's challenge against Cork.

The draw for the second round of the Dublin SFC takes place on Tuesday (7.30) in Parnell Park.

Dublin's ladies footballers begin the defence of their TG4 Leinster crown against Meath in Portmarnock tomorrow (3.30).

Former Clare player Noelle Coymn has been named at full-back by manager John O'Leary.