By John Horgan
Robbie O'Flynn is out of action for a month after his injury in Cork's victory over Clare last weekend, while Alan Cadogan is set to miss the campaign as he recovers from knee surgery.
Speaking to the Echo before training in Páirc Uí Rinn on Wednesday night, Cork selector Donal O’Mahony revealed that newcomer O’Flynn and the experienced Cadogan will be marked absent for the foreseeable future.
The Erin’s Own club man was hospitalised for a night after being concussed in an accidental collision last Sunday with Conor Lehane, while Cadogan has an ongoing knee problem that required surgery.
“Robbie will be out for a minimum of four weeks at the moment, that’s because of the nature of the injury and we are following medical advice on that at the moment.
“Alan’s injury is serious enough, we were hoping he would be back but when he wasn’t back last week it's an operation now.
“We have no other major injury problems, just a few niggles and a few tired bodies from last Sunday."
Cadogan hasn't featured for Cork since the league and wasn't fit for Douglas in their recent club matches. Initially it was hoped he would recover from his knee issue without surgery, but he had an operation this week. He could yet come back into the reckoning later in the summer, but it's more likely to be for his club than county at this juncture.
With O'Flynn and Cadogan out, Shane Kingston and Tim O'Mahony will be in the mix to start, while there could be an opportunity for Jack O'Connor to make an impact off the bench.
Rebel selector O’Mahony believes that Sunday’s crucial Munster championship encounter with Tipperary at Semple Stadium, 2pm will take on a life of its own and that the results from last weekend have to be forgotten about now.
Cork put themselves on the front foot with a five-point win over Clare while Tipperary came away from the Gaelic Grounds empty-handed after a six-point defeat.
That of course puts huge pressure on the Premier, particularly as they were beaten in the league final against Kilkenny as well, while the Rebels head to Thurles with a spring in their step.
“All of us are around the block often enough now to know that Cork and Tipperary games take on a life of their own so I think what happened last week is irrelevant now,” said Bishopstown club man O’Mahony. “A lot of people were talking about the team that Tipp put out last week but we’d expect a very different team out this Sunday.
“But our philosophy all year has been focusing on ourselves, concentrating on what we do because we can control that and be getting the best out of ourselves.
“We can’t concern ourselves on what team Tipp will play or what they are going to do, that’s their job, we have our own one to do.
“We feel that we got a long way towards doing that last Sunday against Clare but now we must try and get it up another five or ten percent against Tipp because we are fully aware of the challenge that is ahead of us on Sunday.’’
The Cork team will be announced at 9.30pm on Friday night.
They face Limerick on Saturday week in the Páirc in the third round-robin clash, with a two-week gap then to the final game in the series against Waterford at Semple Stadium.
This story first appeared in Cork's Evening Echo.