When the story began swirling yesterday morning that Oisín Mullin had picked up an injury – said to be quad-related – in training, it was easy to dismiss it as just yet another wild rumour. These kind of tales are common in the lead-up to big games so there was nothing new about this one.
A bit of digging, though, confirmed for me that there was some legs to the story, though the extent of the injury, as well as what exactly it was, remained unclear.
When comments started to be posted here last night, it was obvious what these related to and that was why I responded in the way I did. At that stage, though, it was still no more than some loudly beating jungle drums.
However, the piece that appeared online in the Connaught Telegraph last night (here) provides at least some degree of confirmation about the veracity of the story. There seems to be little doubt that Oisín has, at best, picked up some kind of knock, which places his full participation in Saturday’s semi-final in doubt.
The straws we can clutch to are that it’s only a minor problem, which it may well be. He might still line out, he could well be only impacted from it in a minor way.
It could, though, be far more serious than that. If it is, we’ll just have to soldier on – as we’ve done in the past, with the litany of injuries we’re suffered over the past decade – but we all know that, in that scenario, our hopes of winning the game will be greatly weakened.
Already, we’re facing into taking on the six-in-a-row champions without one of the players who won an All-Star for us last year. Now there are major worries over the fitness of the other one, a player who was our strongest performer in last December’s All-Ireland final.
Realistically, we won’t know what the story is on Oisín until the match gets going on Saturday. That’s the way it is in the information-free zone that surrounds all GAA county teams at the present time.
But, as the saying goes, nature abhors a vacuum. The absence of hard facts creates room for half-truths and wild stories but also for genuine concerns and worries. And there’s little doubt but that those worries have now increased sharply for us as the hours count down ahead of throw-in on Saturday evening.