Update on injuries

Photo: Mayo GAA

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Mike Finnerty reported in this week’s Mayo News (here) that Kevin McLoughlin, who was withdrawn early in the second half against Monaghan, has hamstring trouble.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.

64 thoughts on “Update on injuries

  1. Lot of positives there Willie Joe. Is Brian Walsh an injury case, or is he just not making the 26?

  2. Presuming allot here, but as I see it, Mayo had five candidates for a full forward line of three, .. Aiden O Shea, Tommy Conroy, Ryan O Donohue, Cillian O Connor and James Carr..If everyone was equally fully fit as possible, what three player’s would be starting?..It’s a difficult one for me to ponder.. But just to say, I wouldn’t be risking any injured player!

  3. That injury list from a year ago was just horrendous and we actually probably over performed in light of it.
    Any word on Eoghan McLaughlin’s fitness? He was flying towards the end of the Sigerson and looked in line for a big summer. Still hoping he’s back soon as he gives so many options in half back or even half forward lines.

  4. Look let’s be honest it’s more important to have hession and cillian available for Easter Sunday and further on rather than this weekend , so it’s good news in that sense .

  5. Eoghan McLaughlin was on the bench against Monaghan and seemed to take a full part in the warm-up

  6. Shame about Rory Brickenden as I felt he was coming on a lot.

  7. Thats a great update, its refreshing to see more information regarding injuries and the time frame players are expected to return.

    I wouldn’t risk anyone against Galway, all eyes on Roscommon.

  8. dreamysleepynightysnoozysnooze – agreed, he was someone I was surprised had come on so much in the early matches. Real amount of size and power

  9. This Sunday is bigger than Easter Sunday as it’s a national final. A loss in the Hyde is not as bad as another loss in HQ.

  10. @Gizmobobs,.. Mayo V Roscommon match is scheduled for Castlebar ,I agree League Final is now priority for now!8

  11. Rory Brickendon had indeed improved. I’m also a fan this year that we have lots of tall strong starters and subs, so hopefully Rory can get back for later in the summer. Having all that power just means we guarantee we tick a box that we will match or outmuscle the opposition.
    My ideal full forward line is:
    James Carr Aidan OShea Ryan O’Donoghue
    My reasons. I deliberately want to limit Tommy’s game time this year for injury risk reduction reasons. 1/3 the minutes is 1/3 the risk. Combined with that I want another box ticked that we have an absolute flyer in attack to come on to finish the game.
    I want the goal threat of James Carr and Ryan O’Donoghue close to Aidan and I want their pace tracking the two corner backs who try to break forward.
    Then I want to tick another box in having a scoring forward like Cillian to come off the bench. Combined with that I don’t want Cillian tracking minute one fresh defenders like Tom Sullivan.
    We are taller, faster and stronger than most teams and we should ensure we bring that to the table minute 1 to minute 76 and possibly minute 98 with extra time injury time.
    I think we made a mistake in the past of leaving nothing for the bench and being under strategized in terms of pace and height on the field. We ended for my money too mix n match in games in the years 2012 to 2022.

  12. Tickets for Roscommmon game go on general sale on ticketmaster at 12:00 today, if anyone is interested.

  13. @JP, ..I agree with you and for the same reasons ..I would worry a little bit about a lack of pace tracking back if both Aiden and Cillian started..I think Kerry really hurt us last year with in attacking from their full back line.. And I believe Sean Kelly will try to do something similar next Sunday.. just as did successfully last Sunday V Kerry. I probably wasn’t fair to, Aiden Orme, Bob Touhy or Connor McStay, they are all entitled to compete for places in the full forward line, it’s just that I think there are 5 ahead of them in the pecking order at the moment. I never seen such competition for the full forward line in my many years supporting Mayo. By far the most competitive line for to get a starting place or come on as a sub.

  14. Brendan – think Doherty was plan B, but think we’ll need Plan C. If it didn’t rob us too much up the pitch wonder if DoC is an option with Touhy / Carney in midfield (but Carney at 11 feels like something we’ve been dying for, and Jordan further up pitch has been working well). If going for someone else at 6 feels like a tactical shift and wonder how easy that would be to do.

  15. Whatever about personnel in the HB line, I hope there’s a plan B with regard to minding the house if Paddy for example goes on a run. Galway and other teams as well, look to turnover and break.
    Being exposed in Croke Park this way is something we have seen before… I hope we don’t fall in to old habits of seeing aido, Tommy or ROD back ball winning. We know how that plays out and for us to make defences work we need those lads in where they can score…
    I’d love to see Tommy half forward running at teams but we will wait and see…..

  16. One piece of the jigsaw that I think we miss for our squad is a left footed pure scorer. This would give us more threat coming in off the right wing or corner.

  17. If everyone is fit and flying, then I’m not sure Loftus at 6 is Plan A. Maybe Flynn at CHB

    For this particular game, Plan B is probably to go man to man on whoever is causing the problems in that area

  18. I believe Conor Loftus at 6 is mainly related to teans dropping numbers back behind the ball. It’s about putting a good kickpasser and tidy soloer and handler of the ball in the mix when we have possession facing the mass defence.

  19. I am not sure why we need to play a forward out of position at number 6 if plan A isn’t working.

    Callinan was fantastic there for the u20s last year until he got injured.
    Plunkett also ticks all the boxes to play there and has numerous times for Ballintubber and been impressive.
    O`Hora had a great season at club level from the number 6 position.
    Stephen Coen won a minor and sigerson all ireland from no 6 position.

  20. Your on the money JP. It is from the Rochford playbook. He deployed Kevin Mc to a similar role when he took over in 2016 who was very comfortable on the ball and a good kick passer. I watched the Kerry and Tyrone league games closely and it was Diarmuid who was actually holding the centre back position more often than not. The days of our half back line bombing forward at every opportunity are over, exposing our full back line to one on one battles with some of the best forwards in the country are also over, thank god. Bigger brighter days ahead, give it time.

  21. Our forward unit especially our h.f line are scoring a bit more heavily now so I would agree h.b.line to hold their ground a bit more. I’d still like to see Paddy making the occasional foray forward though. If only to give the likes of Johnny Heaney a bit of tracking to do.

  22. Agree with posters on Aido and Cillian on at the same time. We were very static last Sunday because the team as a whole lacked pace, and Aidan suffered big time. We need to know what we are doing with him. A situation where he HAS to be taken off at Croker would be disastrous.

  23. Catcol..think we will see more quick ball going into Aiden. He is playing well and with confidence.
    Reality is though, if he was to have an off day , then he should be taken off …but with good quality passes in , he should be a handful for any defender .
    ..if he had to be taken off. I wouldn’t mind seeing Tommy Conroy trotting on !!

  24. What I like about selecting very heavily on known strengths to the starting 15 and impact subs is we have close to a guarantee what we’ll bring to the match in performance.
    Aidan should not be tracking back so we nerd size and mobility jerseys 5 – 12 and 13/15.
    We need the size so that the big runners don’t cause overlaps. They stay hit.
    If we ever need to chase a game btw against likes of a Derry I’d be stationing David McBrien at six or midfield. I think he’s our most powerful runner right now. I think he’s a guy can put a Brendan Rogers or Brian Fenton out of the game and get them going the other way.
    So it’s like trying to undermine the oppositions chief attacking middle third player with a stopper who also poses a running threat themselves.

  25. Any forward dropping back to defend is capable of solo/hand pass, foot pass. Thats bread and butter. We will essentially be playing with 7 defenders. One of mildfielders playing traditional chb, and Loftus as free lance wanderer. I hope management are big enough to fix it going into the championship, that is, if it is broken.
    One position that is not broken is Carney at 11. He is a live wire, quick clever distributor of the ball, capable of drifting to midfield and winning good high ball. What more do you want from your 11? A great attitude. He is an intilligent player, always learning never done. His galway marker will know hes in a game.
    AOS has generally lined out corner forward and is his most effective position. Carr and O’ Donnaghue to accompany him. Both capable of working back.

  26. I think the days of believing teams play as a traditional …3…3…2…3…3 are long gone. A team’s main attacking ploys can come from any outfield line and all lines will be expected to defend. It’s about limiting the opposition’s strengths and hurting them with your own whether that’s the full back line exposing a forward line that wont track them or forwards finding that space from backs forward forays. If both teams adopt similar tactics then it’s a question of who applies them best. Winning over 50% of matchups could be key to this one and I reckon we can do just that.
    Just had a gander at hogan stand forum to see how Galway fans were feeling and sadly it’s pretty much a slag everything Mayo including this blog fest. Never used to think they were that toxic.

  27. Tickets ready. We’ll need a top performance on Sunday – this is a good Galway team who have improved since we drew earlier in league with them. Will be interesting to see Aido and the rest of the forwards’ performance in CP, you need the extra gear in CP, hoping to see it Sunday from this Mayo team.

  28. @JP I agree 100% with your comment re: McBrien. I’ve often wondered what Fenton would be like if someone got properly stuck into him. He’s undoubtedly a great player but I don’t buy him as one of the greats.

    A bench with Cillian/Conroy will hopefully see us over the line on Sunday. If we lose to Roscommon we have 4 weeks off to get back on the wagon. Why not go out and beat a genuine all Ireland contender (unlike Roscommon) and win a national title.

    Galway had a hard game last weekend and the weekend before why we had the luxury of making 11 changes. I
    Think this will stand to us and our pace, power and bench will see us over the line.

  29. With all the talk for the last few weeks about whether we wanted to be in a league final or not and who our preferred opponent might be. I especially didn’t want Galway. Didn’t really want Kerry either and a repeat of last year, if we went in with the same attitude. But now after reading Aonghus O Maicin in the WP , bring it on. He says.
    And while a league title isn’t the ultimate goal for either side, neither side would happily let the other win a meaningless game of tiddlywinks .
    So game on.

  30. I would love to see McBrien experimented at CHB. He ticks all the boxes. But we would need a fully fit P O Hora to replace him.
    Galway are the best possible opposition for us at this point and the game will be a thriller. Either way there is more work do be done and with the way the championship is structured, many bites at the cherry before we get serious.

  31. @ontheditch was very disappointed with O’Hora last weekend against Monaghan at full back abet he hasn’t played much football. Would be a great man in a dog fight and had a stormer on Comer in the Connaught final in Croker a couple of years back.

    Our full back line and keeper will properly get tested on Sunday. Assuming Hession is out for Sunday our full back line and keeper will have zero championship appearances between them all. Have passed most tests with flying colours but Sunday will be a different ball game. Mayo by 4

  32. Joe the new generation of SOME Galway fans does indeed contain a lot of “supporters” who seem to get pleasure from abusing all things Mayo. No doubt when Galway are useless again they will disappear, but we will have to put up with them for the time being as I reckon this Galway team will be around for a while. (No doubt there are some Mayo “fans” who do our county no credit either). This is such a new departure as in the past even though there was a strong rivalry there was none of the bitterness and nastiness on view now. I remember in the 1998 final vocally supporting Galway v Kildare. I certainly would not strain my vocal chords shouting for them now. Having said that most Galway fans I have come across at matches appear to be dead sound, so I would reckon it is mostly anonymous keyboard warriors who are the real culprits. In the past it was great beating our rivals from a football perspective. Now nothing would give me greater pleasure than getting the better of them just to quieten the brigade who derive so much pleasure from our near misses. They count the number of All Irelands we have lost, I count the number of years they have been irrelevant in the greater scheme of things. They have a top team now, managed by a man who was a top class footballer. All the more reason why I would “luv it” if we could scupper them on Sunday.

  33. John Fogarty tweet ,
    admission for opening provincial championship games:
    Connacht stand €30, terrace €25
    Leinster stand €20, terrace €15
    Ulster terrace £15
    Munster general admission €15
    The greedy Connacht Council are at it again, I will not be attending the Roscommon game if we lose Galway on Sunday.Ripping people off in a cost of living crisis and making players play a week after a National League Final shame on the Gaa and Connacht Council.

  34. Ahh lads / ladies will ye whist with the crying over Galway supporters slagging Mayo , bloody hell , it’s called rivalry. The day Galway or ros supporters stop slagging Mayo is the day I’d get worried .

    Mayo / Galway rivalry is traditional , fantastic and healthy, if you can’t stomach it and enjoy it for what it is , you really should try harder and do so . From what I’ve read in the past it’s a rivalry that really got going in the 1930s , Galway won two all Irelands , Mayo won an all Ireland in 36 and six national league titles on the bounce . It was some Gaelic football history book I read years ago where there was piece in it on the rivalry and Jimmy Murray of Roscommon was interviewed where he explained how exciting a period it was , people from all over Ireland cycled to watch the great games between Mayo and Galway in this period .It is just my opinion that when you start off with a foundation like that it gives you that sense of this is special for the generations that follow and i for one love the fixture and love to beat the maroon and white .

  35. Agreed Clubman51, O Hora will get gis game back to his best but it will take time. Brickendens shoulder surgery will take time to heal too. So its dream on as far as McBrien in chb for the present. Enjoy the game, great test

  36. IMO people should just avoid Hogan Stand in particular, there’s a fairly venomous anti-Mayo crew on there and not just from Galway. Donegal posters there seem to be particularly hostile to us for some reason.

    The 42 is riddled with those types as well.

    Matchgoing fans will generally be more reasonable than armchair types anyway.

    Unfortunately the near misses of the last decade or so seem to have tipped the scales of many neutrals against Mayo IMO, I think many of them have lost patience with us falling at the final hurdle. It is what it is and ultimately this is no popularity contest anyway.

    I don’t expect either side to be holding much back on Sunday, irrespective of who’s coming down the tracks.

  37. People’s impressions of Mayo and what they post about us is irrelevant. Win the holy grail and let them talk then. Until then we need to stop biting back and arguing online.

    The Galway/Mayo rivalry is fantastic and it’s great to see us as probably 2 of the top maybe 4 and definitely 5 teams in the country.

    Safe travels to all on Sunday, Up Mayo

  38. I fully believe mayo have it in the tank to break Galway down. I think tc off the bench for the likes of fionn mc and just burst up the middle and lay it off for a few points or maybe even get a goal. Just thinking about league finals what happend to Ciaran Tracey and is there any hope of coc or Enda playing. And on my past point idk if Conroy is injured or not.

  39. @Achill75 pure greed is right.
    Connaught have some neck charging those prices in comparison to the other provinces. I was all on for going to Roscommon game, but this has left a sour taste

  40. John … has been reported the Cillian and Enda should be fit for Roscommon game but unlikely for Sunday
    Tommy is likely to feature at some stage .

  41. Willie Joe can you please do a post on the disparity on ticket prices between Connaught and the other provinces. It’s a pure joke and I for one am done with being taken for a fool by the GAA in general, but in this case it’s entirely Connaught GAA that needs to answer for this.

  42. After years waiting for a fullback we find one and some are trying to move him already. Leave him at number 3.@seanburke i agree the rivalry with galway is what puts the extra bite in the intercounty for me.

  43. I can’t, Mayo Focus – too much other stuff on my plate at the minute! I don’t think it needs one, to be honest, the numbers speak for themselves but I guess Connacht GAA might argue that matches in this province will be a bigger draw compared to the non-event games in Leinster and Munster. Ultimately, though, punters will vote with their feet and their money on this.

  44. Fair enough Willie Joe. The more bad press they get the better if you ask me. And the quality of the matches make no difference to me, its provincial championship which ever you look at it and prices should be the same across the board. 30/25 euro for Mayo v Roscommon is one thing, but to expect punters to pay that for Sligo v Leitrim is another thing entirely.

    Anyways, Up Mayo!

  45. @ no doubt. Like yourself, we are entitled to our opinions. McBrien has all the qualities to make a CHB, including great burst of pace going forward. I do accept that its his position for the present.. I did not look to have him moved.

  46. The connacht council ticket price is high because they know that we will pay whatever is asked of us to support the Mayo football team. If we win the league final i think it will be a full house in mchale park for the match against Roscommon. IF the tickets were 50 euro the mayo supporters would pay it. I think Mayo will beat Galway on sunday by a few points. Safe travelling to all and make sure to bring your hats, flags and shouting voice with you. UP MAYO.

  47. I was impressed with McDermott from Westport at chb in last year’s Mayo league and champo. Big , strong & mobile.
    A bit surprised he didn’t feature. May have been injured though,for all I know.

  48. Not convinced about our FB but Sunday will tell a tale
    For me a fit Brickenden is a safer bet.
    Hope I am proved wrong.

  49. JR You might need a trip to Specsavers regarding Brickenden being a safer bet. McBrien a rolls royce compared to Brickenden

  50. Tickets on sale now for the very front of both Hogan and Cusack stands, you can get ones in the middle of the pitch.

  51. How many Mayo supporters ye reckon , 10k ?

    15k Dublin , 10k Derry , 7k Galway ,& 3k neutrals .

    43 – 46 k perhaps ? Or am I way off

  52. @Sean Burke,..in a Championship qualifier game a few years ago in Salthill.. Galway v Derry…300 (three hundred) attendance as a baseline fan base neither Galway nor Derry really have anything like the Support of Mayo.. Now both Galway and Derry are going well and their fans are much more optimistic about their chance’s and their support will be much more. .Mayo are very likely to have at least as much if not more support than even Dublin, and that’s with Dublin playing at home. And Mayo will have more of the neutral support as well!

  53. Possibly but Galway support has increased greatly over the last 18 months or so , Derry have a good following . We are always decent but for this game there is the factor of championship the week after to take into consideration, some down home might sit this out .Dublin will have the biggest number, of that I have no doubt .

  54. @Sean Bourke, Thats true, many will choose to sit this one out West of the Shannon this time round.. Not too many turned out in Croke Park for the Clare/Roscommon..Mayo/Kildare double header last summer, but even then Mayo support had more than the other 3 completing counties together .. There is a cost of living crisis, the Hotel Price Gouging and the factor of a match v Roscommon on Easter Sunday in Castlebar , which for whatever reason is more expensive to attend than any first round fixtures in Leinster, Ulster or Munster… But even with all those factors put together, the huge Dublin based Mayo fan base will turn out, and I will be surprised if Mayo don’t have more support than Dublin.. Now for the last few years, Dublin support had declined as well..A lack of any real competition in Leinster and they because so risk adverse, predictable and boring.. Even though they don’t have too far to , allot of Dublin fans have chosen to stay at home!

  55. On the topic of injuries I see its reported that Roscommon midfielder Tadgh O’Rourke is out for nine months after getting surgery on Achilles injury he picked up against Donegal last Sunday. He started every game for them this year and they could have done without losing a midfield with last years midfielder Eddie Nolan also out injured and Ultan Harney gone traveling.

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