Photo: Mayo Mick
The Mayo News is reporting today that Cillian O’Connor may be ready to return to the fray before this year’s Championship season is over … providing, of course, that our season doesn’t end prematurely on us. The paper confirms that there’s no chance he’ll be back for the rest of the Connacht campaign and it’s also unlikely that he’d be okay to start in the quarters but he could, if we’re still involved at that stage, be fit for the semis.
That Mayo News report (which is here – the piece isn’t online yet so you might want to pick up a copy of the paper, either in print or digital form) states that James Horan isn’t at this stage prepared to put a timeframe on Cillian’s likely return – the paper itself estimates that it’s a minimum of eight weeks from when the injury occurred – with James instead stressing that the player’s recovery would be “assessed each week.” The boss was, though, surprisingly upbeat on Cillian’s chances of returning to action before the campaign is over, when he said the following:
I think there’s every reason to be hopeful that he’ll make it back at some stage and there is no reason to suggest otherwise.
That’s a hell of a lot more positive than any of us could have hoped for in the immediate aftermath of the injury occurring. Cillian now needs the time and space to get back to full fitness and hopefully the rest of the lads can do their bit by ensuring that we’re still in the race for Sam by the time he is ready to return to the fray. Starting with Game 2 against the Rossies.
In that same report, James also confirms that Barry Moran and Jason Doherty are “close to returning” but that they “weren’t just ready yet” to take part in yesterday’s challenge match with Cavan. That sounds like both will be available for selection for Sunday week, as will Evan Regan who came on as a sub in Ballina yesterday.