There have been a few articles of late referencing the current situation with regard to injuries within the squad. It’s worth, then, to have a look at these to get a sense of how we’re fixed right now, both for Sunday’s National League decider against Galway and also for the Connacht SFC opener against Roscommon a week after that.
The first thing to note, I guess, is that, while we have a few injury problems at the minute, we’re in a far happier position than we were this time last year. The other day I came across a blog post I wrote in early April last year (here), in which I detailed the position as I understood it then about the various injuries within the squad. Looking back on that now, it’s understandable how last summer turned out the way it did for us.
The injury list on our hands at the present time is, happily, much shorter than then and, unlike last year, the current batch of injuries are all short-term. Hopefully that’ll remain the case over the coming weeks.
Having said that, Rory Brickenden’s absence is now bordering on long-term. He went off with a shoulder injury in the Kerry game in the middle of last month and there’s no sign of him being fit and ready to go either this weekend or next.
Two players who, in contrast, are getting close to a return to action are Enda Hession – out since the Tyrone game – and Cillian O’Connor. In his post-match quotes the last day, Kevin McStay appeared to acknowledge that neither of them would be available for the League final but that he expected to have both back “for the start of the Championship.”
Cillian was interviewed at a League final press event today, for which the photos were shot at picturesque Moore Hall (see above), and he admitted that “it’s probably going to be tight” for him to be okay to play on Sunday. (Donnchadh Boyle’s piece on this in the Irish Independent is here.)
By the sounds of it, it’s unlikely we’ll risk Cillian on Sunday and Enda appears to be definitely out as well so it’s all but certain we’ll be without the pair of them for Croke Park but there seems to be a decent chance that they’ll be okay for the game against the Rossies.
Mike Finnerty reported in this week’s Mayo News (here) that Kevin McLoughlin, who was withdrawn early in the second half against Monaghan, has hamstring trouble. That means he’ll be unavailable for Sunday and for the Rossies too. In fact, he could well be doubtful for whatever game comes after that for us.
The news is better about Tommy Conroy. As Mike reports in that linked piece, Tommy picked up a “slight knock” that ruled him out of the Monaghan game but he’s expected to be available for selection this Sunday. If that’s the case then I reckon we can expect to see him join the action from the bench at Croke Park.
So, in summary, while we’re not injury-free at the present time, the issues we have don’t seem to be all that serious and we could, with a bit of luck, be picking from a full deck before too long, albeit this won’t be the case for the League final on Sunday.