Injury situation remains far from clear

James Horan’s very welcome press event earlier on today was, by the sounds of it, a guarded enough affair. What the manager had to say was, perhaps understandably, vague enough, including where it came to player availability and injuries.

He’ll surely have liked the coverage he got, though, on the topic, with the line that only Michael Plunkett is definitely out of the Monaghan game getting a fair bit of traction, including on Midwest. With Paddy Durcan apparently back to full fitness and Oisín Mullin having also returned to training, while Robbie Hennelly played some part in the recent challenge match against Cavan, there is at least some optimism that the injury crisis is starting to ease.

At the same time, however, major worries remain about Ryan O’Donoghue, Mayo’s outstanding performer so far this year. While James spoke about “bangs and bruises” when asked about the Belmullet player, it remains far from certain if the Belmullet clubman will be okay to play on Saturday week.

When you factor in the long-term absences of Tommy Conroy, Brendan Harrison, Jordan Flynn and now Michael Plunkett, as well as the fact that two other long-term absentees, Cillian O’Connor and Jason Doherty, are back only a short time and are both likely to be some way from full fitness, the picture about injuries within the panel takes on a less rosier hue.

On the plus side, as Mike Finnerty reported in this week’s Mayo News (paper and digital variants), Fionn McDonagh appears to have recovered from the hamstring pull he suffered in the Tyrone game and so should be available for selection the next day. This, however, is a player who has endured no end of injury problems since breaking through so impressively in 2019.

In more negative news, that same piece confirmed that Bryan Walsh – a regular last year who started in the All-Ireland final against Tyrone and featured in the first three rounds of this year’s League campaign – remains sidelined and is unlikely to feature again any time soon.

Another positive from today’s press event was confirmation from the manager that no-one has left the panel since the Galway game.

Overall, then, it remains very much a mixed bag for us on the injury front as we face into what is a huge knockout Championship fixture on 4th June. The return of key players to full fitness is, of course, a big boost but it is the case nonetheless that we’ll be taking on Monaghan with less than a full-strength team. Just how much we are below full strength for the game is a question to which there’s as yet no clear answer, nor is there likely to be ahead of Saturday week.

Today’s press event with James Horan is covered in a special bonus Mayo Football Podcast episode now available to club members on Patreon. To listen to this and gain access to other great content, join the club here.

78 thoughts on “Injury situation remains far from clear

  1. Thanks for the update, a mixed bag really but still some time for niggles to heal before next Saturday.

    I assume the CT article citing James Carr being an injury doubt was either inaccurate or not as serious as first expected because his name hasn’t popped up anywhere else in the past 10 days when naming out injured players.

  2. Sounds like more positives than negatives to me. I’m sure I heard James say that Michael Plunkett was the only one not in contention for the Monaghan game.
    Diarmuid and Paddy back would be big pluses. Diarmuid has to either play in midfield if Jordan doesn’t make it or at 11 if he does. His best work is done centrally. He is wasted on the wing.

  3. I think when James said he wanted to take the bullshit out of Mayo football…..he actully meant the fans ??

  4. Yes Mind the House, I’ve just listened to it on Midwest and that’s what he said, Michael Plunkett is the only one who won’t be in contention. Not a satisfactory editing job – 52 seconds worth.

  5. I too listened to the Midwest 52 second, clip… We can’t really read anything to what was said apart from Michael Plunket confirmed unavailability due to injury, and best wishes for a full and fast recovery to Michael.. I recall James speaking before last year’s All Ireland final, and James didn’t rule out Eoghan McLoughlin who had suffered a broken jaw in the semifinal v Dublin.. Not too much gets out from underneath the hat!

  6. Likely line up with who is fit?

    R Hennelly
    L Keegan P O Hora O Mullin
    S Coen P Durcan E McLaughlin
    M Ruane D O’Connor
    F McDonagh A O’Shea C Loftus
    J Doherty C O’Connor D Coen

    Strong enough team to overcome Monaghan IMO.

  7. Team id start if what were hearing that all have a chance of being fit except plunkett
    1-Rob hennely
    2-Padraig o hora
    3-David mcbrien
    4-Lee Keegan
    5-Paddy durcan
    6-Oisin mullin
    7-Eoghan mclaughlin
    8-Matthew ruane
    9-Aidan o shea
    10-Kevin Mcloughlin
    11-Diarmuid o connor
    12-Jack carney
    13-James Carr
    14-Jason doherty
    15-Cillian o connor
    Obviously ryan O donoghue walks into that forward line if fit
    Think Jack carney has a lot to offer this team in terms of flair and winning breaking ball
    I know kevin Mc has been in poor form over the league break but hes a big game player he never lets us down
    You have players like fionn mcdonagh and darrem mchale to come on if plan A isnt working
    I was thinking of putting stephen coen into midfield and Aido in ff for a different threat but i dont think coen would keep up with the pace monaghan play at..a cool head to come on if it goes lobsided
    I see a lot of people here calling for darren coen to start and while i rate him as a very good point scorer hes not pacy and we are coming up against one of the most tight knit teams in the country
    Fergal boland was another one i was considering putting in but again energy off the bench
    The issue i am having here is im struggling to name backs to have on the bench as i believe we have the strongest 6 that we have available out
    We need to get behind the team i believe that team can beat monaghan
    Maigh Eo Abú

  8. I like that team. Spot on. That’s as good as we have. Doc has to be 11. Mullin has to have the license to push forward. Maybe coen for Doherty.

  9. Don’t think we will see that team starting and no update on who is fit really other than Plunkett out. We will have to wait to see who takes to the pitch on Sat week and looks like we have a few players still injured.

  10. Can someone remind me what David McBrien has done at county level thus far to be given a start in a key position in the team in a knock out championship game?

  11. Is McBrien available.
    Maybe Boland over K McLoughlin who probably can’t do more than 50 mins now

  12. Tíme tó have faith in the Management and panel. Galway Exile ” without Ryan we’re goosed” he’s different gravy alright but so was Oisin last year when he was unavailable for the Dublin game and if I can recall we were also allegedly “goosed”. We all know what happened then probably the proudest day for Mayo folk of the decade. Time to trust JH and his team to figure out what’s best for Mayo on the day and I’m happy with that.

  13. @MO2021 – McBrien is a natural full back line player, while he hasn’t set the world alight yet he hasn’t let us down either. I can see him or brickiden playing and picking up Gary Mohan. I also think it is more so that we can free up lee or oisin to move into half back line.

  14. Pod was very enjoyable, Malachy must be the only GAA fan in the country who’s more downbeat about his team than we are about ours!

    Is it me or have we heard nothing really about Rob Hennelly’s fitness lately? That can’t be a great sign, given that other players are being name checked as being back in training.

    If Ryan is out, all of a sudden we are missing a serious amount of firepower in our forward line.

  15. @itmeansnothing – Ill take it as you came straight to the comments because the article above says “Robbie Hennelly played some part in the recent challenge match against Cavan”

  16. @itmeansnothingtome – Sounds positive anyway, he was missed for long range frees v Galway.

  17. Is there actually any truth in the McLoughlin rumours can anyone confirm? I hate to reference that absolute snake on Twitter, but he has go a lot of people worried

  18. Horan was adamant nobody has left the panel since the Galway game , don’t think James Horan would lie , he would of dodged it possibly if there was truth in it but I’d be near certain Horan wouldn’t lie .

  19. Lads, listening to that interview with Horan I am convinced Ryan is out. Horan knows how important he is to us (our best player) and there is no way he is letting Monaghan know what the status is. He also wasn’t going to flat out lie to Mike about him being available. Classic manager not giving anything to the opposition but it really sounds like is out – he was awkward answering the question.

    Without Tommy and Ryan, we would do very well to get the scores to beat Monaghan.

  20. Anybody (season ticket holders) having trouble with ticketmaster? Keeps denying two different credit cards which I know to be solvent (for a change)

  21. Deel River – whether or not the rumours are true isn’t the main point at issue here. If a parent has health concerns about a child they deserve respect and privacy, no matter who they are. Naming the player is bad enough but using this issue in the way that it has been on social media is beyond despicable. No genuine Mayo supporter would ever stoop to such contemptible behaviour.

  22. @Liberal role in the tie, “That’s a non-scoring HF line”…. have we ever had anything but a non-scoring half forward line?

  23. A fella can dream Pebllesmeller – I’d love to see DoC, Tommy and Jason/Kevin next year if that were a goer, or Carney / Eoghan for that 3rd spot.

    Who knows and all that, and full focus on Monaghan, but an injury free panel does have a lot of options.

  24. I thought McBrien did very well against Tyrone on a day when we were scorched for the first twenty five minutes or so. He has presence and confidence, and our FB line was tormented by Monaghan in the first half at Clones.

    O’Hora is a big favourite of course, but I think it takes him a long time to get into his stride in a game.

  25. That’s it Pebblesmeller, it’s been one of our main issues for years, especially when the pressure is on, in big matches. I’m at a loss to know who should be picked there anymore.

  26. WJ, I don’t know of any issues with the player in question so I cannot comment on that. But, that fella on social media is as bad and as nasty a person that i’ve ever come across. It really does amaze me the amount of Mayo people that engage with him. It also baffles me where he gets his info. There must be a number of snakes in the county board feeding him info!

  27. Just been sent a ss of a tweet of his quoting me from here , so he obviously reads the blog . To the man in question how can you be for the betterment of mayo gaa whilst all over social media trying to disrupt the senior set up with rumour and allegations in the height of mid season ?

  28. Sean Burke, I don’t think he is for the betterment of Mayo GAA, clearly. People involved in the current set up, including the county board and Horan obviously told him they want nothing to do with him and now he’s doing what he’s doing on social media, trying to discredit everyone that wants nothing to do with him.

  29. It seems so, Sean! I’ve received direct threats from the same source myself, one inside the last few days. There’s a small, nasty nest of vipers in that clique and the less interaction anyone has with them the better. The stuff about the player and his family crosses a line, though, as it shows the depths some are prepared to stoop.

  30. @deelriver What was posted regarding a shouting match is 100% untrue. The player is in the panel and had no disagreement with anyone. I know this for a fact.

  31. Deel Rover – think it was a couple of years ago there was a US fan who was interviewed on the podcast by WJ. Could be that he supports America in international sports, and I doubt it gets in the way of his supporting Mayo. I think the story of second generation fans is one that’s very closely linked with immigration, so shouldn’t really come as that much of a shock (not that I’m personally a supporter of the England rugby or football teams, I wouldn’t take pleasure in them losing purely for the sake of it). I would say there’s plenty of shocking stuff that has been coming out of that source though, and I’d be looking at those items when questioning how much of a Mayo fan someone was.

  32. I have also been sent a screenshot of a twitter post of him responding to my earlier message. So, if you see this, I don’t go on to your page to look at your tweets, they do be sent to me by people who are laughing at you because you are clearly so pathetic.

  33. I remember the blog did a podcast from London before one of the All-Ireland finals, and I was impressed with the amount of London accents professing love for the green and red.

    Herself is from there too and her family all support Mayo (to greater or lesser degrees), as their people came over from North Mayo in the 1950s.

    We’re all part of the global Mayo community at the end of the day, the odd disruptive Twit aside.

  34. I’d suggest we now leave that topic to the vipers in their parallel universe on social media. As the saying goes, don’t feed the trolls. Being noticed and talked about is oxygen for them so best ignore them altogether.

  35. We did, It Means Nothing to Me, and a hugely enjoyable night we had – it was in the Oxford Arms in Camden back in 2017, shortly before the All-Ireland final. We encountered a large number of passionate second generation Mayo fans that night and they were as mad about the county as those of us born on sacred ground. I still treasure the happy memories from that night.

  36. There’s nothing wrong with vipers WillieJoe, they hunt down beady-eyed rats and other old vermin.

    And I’d rather a nest of vipers than a nest of rats and by f**k there’s some nest of rats have their grubby old paws all over the Mayo pie.

  37. Jesus some people need to ease off the conspiracy theories and take off their tin-foil hats. If it’s not that gobshite on twitter (Google search “his name England” and have a very good look at the first few images that comes up). It’s not the fact he’s an England fan, it’s his actions.
    It’s championship – maybe we’ll beat Monaghan and go on a roll or maybe we’ll lose. If the latter is the case, then we might question the management/the set-up. Until then, if you’re a real fan just get behind the team instead of actively causing disruption and damage spreading rumours. Loose lips sink ships – you’re either on our side or you’re not, get off the fuckin fence

  38. @joeyo We are going to struggle to get scores. This will be a dogfight with scores hard to comeby. Our injury list is insane with ROD being the standout loss. If he was fit id give us a chance. Monaghan know exactly how to set up. I agree we have enough talent to win this but Horan wont change… This will be his last game as manager

  39. Have some faith men, we have a lot of injuries but there is a large panel there in full training for a few years now and anyone of them should be well able to take their place on the team and laly their hearts out to stay on the team once they are given a chance.

  40. Deal river…there are alot of “English” fans who love Mayo because its where their people come from….its a massive identity…to be honest I think Mayo diaspora identifies with the County in a much more intense way than the diaspora from other Counties.Personally I consider those as Mayo as myself and even more so.Their parents and Grandparents sent the money home that kept an arse in alot of our trousers

  41. Im concious that Willie Joe wants us to move on from this fella, too much air time given to he who can’t be named. But I have to give my view, I’ve looked through his tweets and his venimous tweets about WIllie Joe are just plain wrong. He gets quite personal aswell, he’s lower than a snakes belly tbh. Im sure its no consolation WJ, but to be living rent free in that mans head, with the current cost of living is some achievement!!!!!

    To those who say he supports England etc, to be fair he is English, nothing wrong with that. How many people in Ireland support Man U, Liverpool and the Irish rugby team. My own kids are born English, and support the national teams. But when Mayo are playing, they are lunatics, Mayo supporters through and through.

  42. People are entitled to support whatever team they want, or not, Sing God save the Queen or not..I would sing the Sex Pistols version of God save the Queen myself.. Allot of Liverpool and Everton fans consider themselves as Scouse not English.. I worked with Cornish Men on a building site, the considered themselves Celts not English.. If you support Mayo as the Artful Dodger sang in the movie ‘Oliver Twist’.. “Consider yourself one of us”

  43. Has anyone noticed the drop in quality in the Hogan Stand forum, they don’t even follow the live scores each Sunday.

  44. How are Monaghan at the back though really? I think they are fairly open and goal opportunities will present themselves. I’m actually confident for this one and to get two or three goals which could well happen may make it an OK day even if our top players may not be available.

  45. I am second generation. My mother was born in Erris and my father was born in England to a Dublin mother and his father was a Clare man.
    I may have an English accent but i have an Irish heart and would hope to settle in Erris one day.
    I am as invested in this Mayo team as the next Mayo man and have been for years. In fact I am obsessed by it.
    The passion for Mayo is spread far and wide. Please god we will get over the line one day.

  46. Our diaspora is to be savoured and all those who claim Mayo lineage are forever tied to her bloodline. They are an integral part of the fabric of
    Mayo culture and many of us have relatives who grew up overseas but are still Mayo through and through. That is why seeing one such second generation son of Mayo go out of his way to actively damage the football team must be so hurtful to all our diaspora. If he had a shred of integrity he should tweet the names of who the leaks are in the county board and leave it there

  47. I think what some of the comments have done today is let the cat out of the bag regarding the Mayo mentality, too many unable to see the big picture and sing off the same hymn sheet, one virtue signaler trying to out do the other in the kangaroo court.

    It’s not right and a lot of people have let themselves down badly.

    If anyone has anything to say about someone at least be man enough and have a bit of common decency and name the man that’s being disparaged .

    It’s totally out of order, and to question a man’s nationality is actually beyond belief.

    So is James Horan really a kiwi then ? Are the Tyrone players not really Irish at all ? But of course Biden is from Ballina, because that suits us grand. Totally ridiculous and small minded stuff, perhaps a bit of mandatory emigration should be introduced, see will it broaden a few small minds.

    Fair play to the Kerry boys, they know how to harness the funds from overseas and build themselves a state of the art Centre Of Excellence while our fellas are going from one cabbage patch to another around Mayo because they’d rather get rid of the biggest fundraiser of them all, just because he wanted transparency, fair request considering the amounts of money involved.

    Mayo God Help Us.

  48. You have to admit viper the timing of these twitter leaks is very damaging to this championship campaign. That to me speaks volumes of the man. He should Do his talking when the season is over, until then he should shut up and follow the team.

  49. Little more than a week out from the Monaghan game, it’s definitely time to steer the debate back in the direction of the on-field stuff. I will say one parting thing, though, as someone who has had vile, abusive comments aimed at them personally from that direction (not that that juvenilia bothers me, to be honest). The comment made a short while ago about everything seemingly coming for a desire for “transparency” made me laugh. I’d like to know what personal attacks on someone like me has to do with such a desire. I’ll say no more.

  50. If this is the right way to go about things we’d be saying it’s fine to have information on squad and county set up leaked “for the greater good” and to have a post-season diagnostic conducted on the internet just before a knock out game in the middle of the season.

    A centre of excellence is needed, more coaches are needed, as much funding as possible is needed. Tyrone, Dublin and Kerry do well on a lot of these fronts – can you name out the top five vocal financial contributors from any of those counties that are regularly leaking information on twitter?

  51. @Viper

    If the fella has grievances then fair enough he is entitled to his opinion the same as the next man but come on. The way he’s gone about his business recently is beyond stupid. Nothing to be gained whatsoever in the short term and it is the short term that matters at this time.

    The best thing he can do is get his backside to Castlebar next Saturday and use some of his energy in supporting the team.

  52. 1989 and Lineball. I totally get it. I myself left Mayo at 16 for a while and permanently at 18 . Now living in Kildare, I’ve been ( responsible, influential or something) for Mayo having 16 supporters, none of them born in the county. I work with people from Meath and Kildare regularly and depending on where they live now, they follow that county. Never would happen with a Mayo person.

  53. Okay, I’ll say it again – I want to move the debate back onto the football. I’d appreciate it if everyone would please stop trying to post comments about the other issue. Thanks.

  54. The more I look at the teams in the provincial finals, the more important this Monaghan game gets. If we get over the line Saturday week, theirs absolutely nothing to fear against the potential 2nd round opponent.

    1. Kildare-Flaky at the back, need a tight pitch to play their best football. Neutral venue would really make us strong favourites.

    2. Limerick. Enough said.

    3. Roscommon, I just don’t think they can do it when it really matters, they famcy themselves as big boys this year, but have done nothing in 30 odd years to suggest otherwise. Fully expect Galway to beat them well on Sunday. Never even threatend the goal against a 14 man Div 4 team in Sligo. Would love to draw them.

    4. Derry/Donegal the hardest one to call, head says Donegal will edge Ulster. A game against either would be in Croke park. If we get through Monaghan our boys confidence would be sky high. Ulster title is a massive deal to those teams, the disappointment of a loss would really give the edge to who ever draws them.

    Im not taking Monaghan for granted, I think its the second toughest draw we could have got. But if the players are up for it, and we get behind them rightly from the off, we’ll give ourselves a serious chance of going far this year. The “Mayo Mayo Mayo” chant really does drive our lads on a bit. Some of the lads are on record saying as much. Look at the last two minutes of the drawn 2015 semi final for proof. We need to roar them on like crazy Saturday week.

  55. Good call Willie Joe re. topic.
    A lot of people bemoaning our lack of scorers in half forward line but Darren McHale and Fergal Boland are two that are well capable of getting scores from 30+ mts out.

  56. @Jr: That place has gone to the dogs, there are no county boards any more, and as ever online, there’s a large contingent taking cheap shots at Mayo any chance they get. I remember once reading a thread blaming us for the Galway hurlers’ strike a few years back and thinking, “it really is any excuse, isn’t it?”.

  57. Good post there Lineball. There are no world beaters out there for round 2. Indeed there are no world beaters out there full stop.

  58. I actually think Derry will beat Donegal, they have incredible momentum behind them now, and that’s always very difficult to stop

    Galway will probably have too much for Roscommon, Kerry will win by 20 plus and Dublin by 10 plus

    We shouldn’t have too much bother with any of the losers aside from Donegal if they do lose (even at that it would be similar to Monaghan – not easy but very winnable)

  59. Find it hard to call Derry v Donegal , Donegal get ahead I believe they could push on handy . I’ll go with donegal .

    Galway for me v Ross , Walsh and comer are a cut above Ross threat but Galway still not totally convincing , only beat us by a point in game they were half a dozen points better .

    Dublin I think are way better than people think and a little birdie tells me they have been very busy the last few weeks ,possibly coming from a successful training camp abroad . Comfortable win

    Kerry , you’d imagine can win by whatever they feel like .

  60. Fair point Catcol, Kerry are the form team and favourites for Sam, and have the best forward in the Country by a mile, but they are consistently blessed with a walk through to the All Ireland seiries. I’d say if Tyrone get through to the quarter final draw, O’Connor and co will be sweating a bit. I’d genuinely fancy Dublin to take them out in a Semi if they meet. But your point is valid, theirs no major world beaters out there this year. I swear to God, if Tommy Conroy, Flynn, Durcan, Hennelly, Harrison, Cillian and 70 min Mullin, were all fully fit for that Galway game, we would be looking forward to a Connacht final now and probably be piped up as second favourites for Sam. All if’s and but’s I know, but the hand we’ve been dealt this year is nothing short of cruel.

  61. Yeah, Ah Ref, in terms of the ‘fringe’ forward panel, there’s Boland, Mark Moran, Conor McStay (is he fit?), Paul Towey, Frank Irwin, all of whom could do a job; some not together (Boland and Towey say). Fionán Duffy might be off off Broadway, but he can put himself about.

  62. Boland definetly worth a shot in that HF line. Loftus just seems out of form since last years semi.

  63. Loftus is better off the bench. I dont recall him ever really having a very good game when starting but numerous times I’ve been impressed with him off the bench and hes made a positive impact.

  64. @Sean Burke. S Walsh v E Smith D Comer v C Cox I don’t see a big difference in those marquee players. The team that defends best will win the Connacht final.

    Dublin have found form again and i think they’ll show that form against a Kildare that are poor defensively

    Derry well hyped up at this stage but i think Donegal will win by a point or two

    Kerry v Limerick a total mismatch

  65. I have a sneaky feeling we might have a suprise or two this weekend. I’ll be hitting the bookies when they to open to see what’s available for a Derry, Ros, Kerry and Dublin accumulator.
    I would love if we met Galway again this year..

  66. @RPMURPHY – Same, i think Galway were the better team on the day in Castlebar but if we had a full squad in the lead up to it ive no doubt we would be in a Connaught Final tomorrow.

  67. As much as I keep thinking Ross might beat Galway, if I had to put money on it I’d go for the Tribesmen.

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