Sport Soccer

Monday 21 October 2019

Donegal quartet to miss start of league

Donegal boss Declan Bonner
Donegal boss Declan Bonner Sportsdesk

Donegal are going to be without four top players for the first half of the Allianz National Football League, which gets under way at the end of next month.

Team captain Michael Murphy, Neil McGee and Frank McGlynn will miss the opening three games at least, as they are all recovering from niggles and are only doing gym work at present.

Experienced corner-back Paddy McGrath is also battling back from a cruciate ligament injury.

Donegal have a tough opening three games, away to Kerry, at home to Galway and away to Dublin.

The trio are expected to return to full training next week while McGrath is aiming for a return by early March.

"It was always going to be the case where the three boys were going to miss the start of the league," said Donegal manager Declan Bonner, who has his side back in training this week in preparation for the start of the new season.

"We will monitor them closely over the next few weeks and it is hard to say when they will be fit to play. But I think you can rule out the first three games at least."

The 2018 season begins with the Dr McKenna Cup and a home game against Queen's University, Belfast on Wednesday night in Ballybofey.

Leo McLoone is in a race against the clock to be fit in time for the opening league game against Kerry.

McLoone opted out last season, but is back in the fold again and has a number of weeks' training on the pitch under his belt.

"Leo is making good progress. He had a problem and he got it sorted and is close to being ready for the start of the league.

"But with the league starting a week earlier this year, the first game may come a week or two too soon for Leo."

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