It will be late February, at the earliest, before Seán Powter makes his inter-county return, according to Cork football manager Ronan McCarthy.
The 21-year old has not been seen in a Cork shirt since Saturday, January 27, 2018, the former young footballer of the year nominee tearing his hamstring during Cork’s opening game of the 2018 Allianz Football League.
That injury led to an eight-month spell on the sideline, with Powter returning to club fare when introduced as a sub at the end of Douglas’ Cork SFC quarter-final defeat to eventual champions St Finbarr’s.
The UCC student featured for the Douglas U21 hurlers and footballers during the latter months of 2018, but McCarthy said Powter would not be ready for their opening Division 2 league fixture away to Fermanagh on January 27. Rounds two and three, on February 3 and 10, may also arrive too soon for him. And with there being a break in league action on the third weekend of February, it is likely that Powter will not make his return until the round-four clash at home to Meath on February 23.
“Seán seems to be coming along nicely, but, obviously, we will have to take our time with him,” said McCarthy.
“I doubt he will make the start of the league. He is going well and we are upping his training. He is coming along.
“It took all of last year [to get himself right], he had a couple of setbacks. We want to take it gently. What I would say is that early February, if he didn’t have a setback, that we’d hope to see him sometime in February, all going to plan.”
Among the newcomers looked at during the 3-15 to 0-7 McGrath Cup semi-final win over Limerick were St Finbarr’s Conor Dennehy, Paul Walsh of Kanturk, who contributed 1-1 from half-back, Kilmacabea’s Damien Gore, Tadhg Corkery of Cill na Martra, and Newmarket’s Aidan Browne.
McCarthy said there will be further experimentation during this Saturday’s McGrath Cup decider against Clare.
“We are trying to bring in new players to add to the pool that we have. They have trained really well over the pre-season. Let’s throw them in and see can they put their hand up for selection for the league opener against Fermanagh.
“When we play Clare next week, we want everyone to have a game under their belt and have started a match. We will rotate things, but we will be strong again.”