Tipperary’s three-time hurler of the year nominee Seamus Callanan made his long-awaited return to training in Thurles on Tuesday evening.
The Drom-Inch man, who missed the entire Allianz Hurling League and his club’s recent championship defeat to Upperchurch-Drombane, played a part in an internal game.
Callanan, 29, underwent surgery on his back in late January to repair bulging discs and had attended the recent games against Kilkenny and Limerick as part of the official Tipperary group.
After the disappointing Division 1 final defeat to Kilkenny in Nowlan Park last Sunday week, the reappearance of the four-time All-Star will be a major boost to the forward line although Jason Forde has been hugely impressive in the full-forward position in his absence.
Fellow forward Dan McCormack, who also had an operation having picked up a cartilage problem in the win over Waterford, played for Borris-Ileigh in their win over Portroe last Sunday, and he also took part in the game. Noel McGrath, ruled out of the latter part of the league after sustaining a thumb injury, and Niall O’Meara all played a part.
Patrick 'Bonner' Maher, who last featured in the Division 1 quarter-final win over Dublin, is continuing his rehab from a leg complaint and has yet to return to full contact but completed a programme at the training session and is expected to do so in the coming couple of weeks.
Michael Ryan confirmed his panel for the Championship with Tomás Hamill, who started the semi-final against Limerick, one of five to be dropped from the panel. Paddy Cadell, Paul Shanahan, Lyndon Fairbrother and Tom Fox have also been cut.
Tipperary will go into the Championship with three goalkeepers - Daragh Mooney (Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill), Brian Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha) and Paul Maher (Moyne-Templetuohy).
They begin their Munster SHC campaign against Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds on May 20, the first of four games in as many weeks.