Waterford lose O'Sullivan for hurling championship

Waterford lose O'Sullivan for hurling championship

Shane O'Sullivan will be a notable absentee for Waterford when they meet Clare in their Munster SHC semi-final showdown on June 17.

The Ballygunner clubman is due to spend the summer months abroad, leaving Déise manager Michael Ryan without one of his first choice players.

"It looks like Shane is going to go away for the summer," Ryan told reporters at the launch of the 2012 Munster GAA Championships.

"He just finished college and I spoke to him the other night and he feels he needs to go away. I understand that and if he goes he'll be a big loss to us."

O'Sullivan wore the number 8 or 9 jersey for Waterford's trio of All-Ireland semi-final defeats, to Kilkenny (2009 and 2011) and Tipperary (2010), and was used as a substitute in their 2008 All-Ireland final loss to the Cats.

He most recently played at wing forward and wing back as Ryan's charges successfully avoided relegation from Division 1A of the Allianz League.

In addition, Waterford's preparations for this year's Championship continue to be hampered by injuries.

Their noted free-taker Pauric Mahony is currently sidelined after undergoing groin surgery and former All-Star defender Noel Connors has been battling a back problem.

There is positive feedback regarding Mahony's recovery period. He was originally ruled out of the entire Championship but Ryan now says that there is 'a chance he might be back in eight weeks'.

He has yet to rule Connors out of the Clare game, with the Passage youngster, 22, back in light training.

"Noel's got a chance but he needs to get back in (full) training very, very quickly. He's got a chance because he keeps himself fit, although I couldn’t make a call on it until three weeks’ time," added Ryan.

Waterford's selection options could be further curtailed after Eoin Kelly and Maurice Shanahan picked up knocks in club games over the weekend.

Kelly has a suspected fractured thumb and X-ray results will determine the extent of the injury, while the in-form Shanahan also damaged his hand when playing for Lismore against Ballyduff Upper last Sunday.

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