Tipperary star Philip Austin has been ruled out for two months after injuring his shoulder in Sunday’s historic McGrath Cup victory over Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn.
Tipperary selector Gerry McGill last night confirmed: “Philip damaged the A/C joint in his shoulder and is out for 8-10 weeks. He’s a big loss and he was excellent against Cork. He took a heavy hit and it’s tough on him.”
Austin will miss Sunday’s McGrath Cup semi-final against Waterford and a possible final showdown with Kerry or Limerick a week later.
A stint of over two months on the sidelines could also rule Austin out of six of Tipp’s seven Allianz National Football League Division 4 fixtures.
Meanwhile, experienced goalkeeper Paul Fitzgerald believes that Tipp’s first competitive senior football victory against Cork in 69 years can help kickstart a successful season for them.
Fitzgerald, 35, explained: “What we have to do is get to a place against Cork and Kerry in Munster where they’ll fear playing us. Beating them is another step but we need to go into games where they’re fearing us. At the moment, they probably still don’t but we’re getting there and little things like last Sunday help.”
It is a sentiment shared by top scorer Barry Grogan who believes the county is reaping the rewards of a successful underage programme.
“We had six U21s starting on Sunday so it just shows the progress. A few of them are light but they’re willing and able, all they need is a couple more years to fill out and they’ll be fine footballers. It’s only our first day out so there’s no point getting too excited. This time of year is only about building fitness. I’m not being disrespectful to the competition or anything but that’s the way it is in pre-season.”
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