Injuries update

As is so often the case over the course of a Championship campaign, we’ve an evolving story with injuries right now so it’s worthwhile setting out what’s known at this point about where we stand on that front.

Speaking to the Mayo News after the Louth game on Sunday (here), Kevin McStay revealed that all-time Championship top scorer Cillian O’Connor “could have almost played” in that game but that the the medical team’s advice was “he’s not quite there yet.” Mike remarked on the Mayo Football Podcast match review show (available on Patreon – here) that he’d been told Cillian was “95%” okay to play last Sunday so the chances of his being included in the match-day 26 for Cork must be good.

Cillian’s brother Diarmuid was a notable absentee from the team on Sunday and it’s been fairly widely accepted post-game that the dip in the team’s performance was at least in part due to Diarmuid not being on the field. Billy Joe Padden covers this point really well on the review pod.

In his post-match comments, Kevin McStay was keen to downplay the issue that kept Diarmuid out of the team last Sunday, describing it as just a “knock”, adding that it’s “not too serious” and “not a long-term thing.” That sounds promising enough as regards his involvement the next day.

The news isn’t as positive with the luckless Eoghan McLaughlin who, as Mike reports in this week’s Mayo News (paper and digital variants), has broken a bone in his hand. Because of this he’s not expected to be available for selection for the Cork game.

Two other players who were in the match-day 26 for the Kerry game but didn’t feature in the panel for Louth were Knockmore’s Kevin McLoughlin and Darren McHale. Mike confirmed on the match review pod that injury was the reason for their absence but there’s no more news on either apart from that.

The other two players currently working their way back to fitness – who were mentioned by Kevin McStay in the update he provided last month – are Rory Brickenden and Brendan Harrison. There’s no further news on either of them but Kevin did say then that both were expected to be back in action by the end of May so hopefully that timeframe hasn’t slipped since then.

35 thoughts on “Injuries update

  1. That’s all fairly positive. Keeping good cover and pressure for places as we head for the run-in.
    Kevin McStay did say on tv on Sunday that Eoghan McLaughlin would be training this week with the squad.

  2. Encouraging news in the main. Hopefully we’ll see the O’Connor brothers on the field very soon. Both are badly needed. But management have it right in not taking chances at this stage.
    Did anyone else think that the Mayo warm-up was very vigorous for the conditions in Castlebar?

  3. Pretty positive news . Feel sorry for eoghan mc he’s been soo unlucky with injuries as has cillian !

    Yes we do badly need the o Connor brothers back they play a key part we saw the difference when paddy , hession and conroy came on in 2nd half played much better and really do think diarmuod o Connor missing against louth played a huge part to our performance to .

    But feeling pretty optimistic looking forward to the cork match!

  4. I wonder is that a six week injury then for eoghan mac ? I’snt that the usual with fractures of that kind ?

  5. All that matters that get to quarter final, with clean bill of health. Hope to win against Cork, point win will do. Reset and go again full blast

  6. It would be great to get cillian back for sure and whether he’d start or not it gives another great addition to the bench. His scoring record probably won’t be on his radar until he retires but injuries has probably robbed him of a minimum 40 pts.

  7. To be honest I was expecting a struggle against Louth. Mickey Harte had frequently brought Tyrone during the league over the last decade to Castlebar and turned Mayo over with the blanket, we always struggle against this and especially in Mchale Park. We just need to get to the wide open spaces of Croker. There was one stage in the second half where our keeper had the whole full back line and half back line free for our own kickout ,where all the Louth forwards had retreated behind midfield. That’s very difficult to break down in a tight pitch. Paddy made a huge difference when introduced at (centre forward)with his ability to break the tackle and run at them and that’s why it’s vital himself and Hession are starting towards the latter stages of the championship. I think Stephen Coen in fairness was our best defender the last day. I’d be starting Conroy the next day too against Cork. Diarmuid was certainly missed, his work and endeavour is badly needed. Reape has made the no 1 his own but there were a few free kicks , on a day like last Sunday which were within Ryan’s reach and should be left to him. I’d be expecting a better performance against Cork.

  8. Would it be an idea to give Byrne game time (nothing to do with reape performance) incase reape picks up an injury along the way. If he was called into action in a q/f or s/f it would be good to know he’s up to speed.

  9. @sean Burke you could be right. I broke my wrist a good few years ago 1 bone fracture clean break took 6 weeks min to heal poor eoghan mc thought after he got that fab goal in Kearney hed cone bouncing but I am sure he will come bouncing once recovered!

    @No doubt that’s a good point Byrne isn’t bad at all but no where near reapes skills in my opinion anyway

  10. Injuries will play a big role in this years championship as the games come thick and fast. We need a settled fifteen from now on and places need to be found for Hession, Durkin, Conroy and Cillian when fit. They are some of our est players and we wont win the big games without them. Eoghan is unlucky but we will need his pace in Croke park.

  11. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship
    Sun, Jun 18, 2023, 14:00
    Cork v Mayo
    Round 3
    TUS Gaelic Grounds

  12. @KiKelly your totally on the ball there.. eoghans pace is magic.. felt awful for him in 21 semi what an injury he fought his way back and is still a star player!

    Yes hesion, paddy , Tommy c are huge influences to when they are fully fit that will be unreal. They are still unreal but need to get back to being fully fit but they still make a huge impact.

    We played Soo much better when they came on 2nd half v louth we got more chance of doing our running game when they came on and we looked far the better team and we were. As I said before louth set up sooo defensively against us as they knew we had the better classes of players. We will be a different animal v cork cork be a huge test to but mayo for the win.

    I do say fair play to louth for getting tactics right but not fair play for doing ( puke football) sorry but I hate the blanket defence whoever is playing it ruins the glow of the game to end up in a boring flat game….

  13. So it seems some people in here seem to think that we (Mayo) never play a blanket defence….

  14. Eoghan picks up a lot of injuries, but his recuperative powers are remarkable. Remember that injury against Monaghan last year – he was bouncing around within a few weeks. And wasn’t he ‘almost ready’ for the Tyrone final in ‘21 after his jaw injury against Dublin?

  15. Kilkeel. Your dead right. All the men you mentioned must start at some stage when they are fit for us to have any chance. Potentially from quarter final onwards assuming we get there via the front door. Injuries are key now and god knows we above any team have endured enough of them down through the years above all other counties. I hope last Sunday was shadow boxing because that kind of football won’t get us very far. We are a much better team in croker but we have to get there first. That could be tricky.

  16. @Tomthumb.
    If you can ever remember Mayo turning their backs and retreating into their own 45 before an opposition kickout then please let us know. Just one example from the last 50 or 60 years will do.

  17. @tomthumb yes please tell us when we’ve ever done a complete blanket defence like louth did ? As @FW said!

    I must not have been watching the same mayo matches as I completely missed our ‘blanket defence’… haha :p

  18. New pod up now on Patreon and all other podcast platforms. This is a special bonus one hosted by Mike and featuring Pauric Ring and Ger Brady (Ballina) to promote Saturday’s exhibition match at Claremorris in aid of the ‘Together for Ger’ campaign.

  19. Good question on Michael Plunkett. He is experienced cover in the back line and was the best of a bad bunch against Monaghan.

    Sorry to be negative here but it appears to me Kevin is feeding the media BS on the injury front. His updates on player injuries have been off the mark so far this season and maybe he is right. James Horan got roasted for not giving the media any information, Kevin has proven just as tight lipped.

    An example being Enda Hession in the league where he was “close” a number of times and we didn’t see him again for months.

  20. I think some people confuse the catch-call term, “blanket defence” with getting numbers back when the opposition are attacking. For me, a blanket defence is when the opposition set up to have most of their team behind the ball from the off, in the hope of winning turnovers and catching the other team out of position by breaking quickly. Donegal played a blanket under Jimmy McGuinness, Tyrone also under Mickey Harte.

    You can’t play man on man or leave your six forwards up the field when you play teams like that, as they’ll flood forward and outnumber you when you turn over possession. It’s impossible to defend against it using traditional tactics. You have to get men back behind your 50 to avoid conceding cheap scores.

    If Mayo do play a blanket, it’s not a very good one, given that teams have repeatedly targeted the spaces in front of our full back line over the past decade or so.

    Like most people, I’d say the massed defence tactics originating in Ulster have diminished the game greatly as a spectacle. The likes of Tyrone and Donegal fans won’t care much though, as it won them All-Irelands.

    Question for us is, would we trade our purism for winning Sam under such a style of play?

  21. @it means nothing to me

    That’s a good question!
    A blanket is a catch all term as has had to be explained by yourself and others.
    If we were employing a lot of players back on occasion,double sweeper stuff like Galway are doing or devising specific defensive tactics for games like Roscommon then yes for sure I could live with that.
    The tactics from Louth the last day (worst kind of defensive/blanket) I’ve seen,I don’t think I could support that.

  22. @FW: It’s hard to watch, right enough. I seem to remember we did have double sweepers in one of the All-Ireland finals against the Dubs (2016?) but even then, we were open enough.

    Not sure adopting the full blanket is in the Mayo DNA to be honest. Neither is the equally hard to watch keep ball tactic that Dublin perfected.

    It’s so hard to play against though that it has spread like a blight across the game, to the extent that even the so called purists of the game (Galway) have adopted near enough the full blown version of it- the shawl. Kerry also do it when it suits them, although this is more of a “protecting the lead in the dying stages” tactic for them.

    I hope we don’t ever line up with 15 men in our own half.

  23. Has anyone else tried this new calendar sync feature the GAA has (

    I signed up and it has dropped the Monaghan and Cork games into my calendar – date, time and venue included. Plus, there are links to ticket purchase, and also Facebook and Twitter. This feature might even give Willie Joe a run for his money!

  24. @it means nothing to me.
    Exactly that’s my point..we play as defensive as any other team..all our players defending in our own half lots of times in every game
    It’s the modern game

  25. @It means nothing to me yes good question! I’d have to go with no though I never want to see Mayo lining up 15 in front of the goal from the off as you say to !

    We were always known as the great entertainers and that’s because we actually play football and play an open game the day mayo do a blanket defence will be a sad day but I don’t think mayo will ever do that we love the game to much and actually want to play a proper good game !

  26. Listening to rte gaa podcast this morning was interesting, I actually like the way we are not been talked about as contenders , Tomas o se for example in talking about Derrys chances , named Galway , Kerry and Dublin as teams in the frame but never a mention of our bucks . Happy days , not saying he’s right or wrong , jst thought it was nice to be still in it but not mentioned as possible winners . (I’m Only half way through the pod though )

  27. @Tomthumb: I don’t think it’s the same thing, though. Mayo go out to attack every team they play and often leave a lot of space in front of their backline, allowing other sides to hit us on the break. We have shootouts á la the Kerry game with any team who will duke it out with us. Maybe it’s cost us an All-Ireland or two over the years, who knows?

    The likes of Louth, Galway etc. keep at least half of their team back in their own half at all times. We only do so when the opposition break against us, otherwise we’re trying to break down the opposition blanket (unsuccessfully a lot of the time). It’s a necessity to get a few bodies back when you lose the ball, as otherwise you’re trying to defend 8 v. 11 or 12, which doesn’t work.

    Louth in particular against us deliberately set out to keep the score down in the first half, putting their entire team at times behind their own 50. It worked for them and it’s understandable given the resources they have, but I struggle to remember Mayo ever adopting such an approach, even against the Dubs in their pomp.

    It’s the modern game, fair enough, but I wouldn’t say Mayo are the biggest purveyors of defensive football at all.

  28. I cannot understand the tactics of so many defensively set up teams who concede possession to the opposition on every kickout..This is playing with giving the opposition control of the ball you are diminishing your own teams chances of scoring opportunities.To expect your team to chase and tackle and rob the opponents of the ball is a very big ask!
    Would it not increase the percentage s by pushing up and leaving no man free ,,contest every kickout,make it a 50/50 contest..if possession is lost the house is not necessarily down as good defenders can slow things down till help arrives..You have to trust you own players and their ability ..By retreating en masse you are sending out the signal that your players are Not good enough.
    To me , as a Down man ,I think Mayo are good enough to put it up to any opposition and come out at least 60/40 successfully.

  29. It Means Nothing to me,

    No team leaves half their players in their half at all times. In that scenario, a team could just drop everyone 15 back and the opposition would be attacking with 7 players v 15. That was actually Jim McGuinness’ plan in the famous semi v Dub in 2011. If you read his book, he noticed that every dub back wasn’t allowed to cross halfway, therefore he knew it’d simply be a numbers game with his whole team versus Dublins 7 or 8 attackers and they wouldn’t be able to score. The games quickly evolved and teams know you have to commit 12 or 13 up now to break a blanket. The games basketball, all attack and all defend.

    How are the likes of Galway as you mention, having two of their defenders, Kelly and McDaid, as two of their most attacking players, if they leave half their team back at all times? The league final was the same thing over and over again, Galway being very slow moving the ball upfield, Mayo bringing all their players back and Galway passing it around the perimeter. Galways fault for being slow in the transition but anyone that says we didn’t repeatedly have 15 behind the ball that day is looking at it through green tinted glasses. Galway had plenty of very entertaining games last year

    Some team are worse for it than others, Louth being on one end and id like to think us near the other end. But once there’s slow transition, the game becomes backs and forwards basketball style. Everyone is playing similarly

  30. @frostthehammer they are getting uppity haha don’t know why they would rather play in what’s bound to be a half empty croker tho haha ..

  31. Request was denied by the gaa for the matches to be played in croker right call..

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