Linden, who hasn’t played inter-county football since last year’s two-point defeat by Longford in the All-Ireland qualifier, was in sparkling form with his club Mayobridge in a recent challenge game against Leitrim, scoring 2-3.
The game was watched by county team boss Paddy O’Rourke, who was hugely impressed, and invited Linden to rejoin the county panel, which the player readily agreed to.
Down will play the winners of the Armagh/Monaghan tie in the Ulster championship on June 8.
Armagh may have an extra edge on league semi-final opponents Laois this weekend, having just returned from a pre-championship break in England.
Last year, Kernan famously flew his squad out to La Manga, Spain for a week and pointed to the break as one of the reasons behind their All-Ireland success.
On this occasion, Armagh stayed closer to home and spent last weekend in Bath University’s Human Performance and Fitness Centre in the east of England.
Kernan joked: “After what we did last year everywhere was booked up in Spain. We should have patented the idea! “It’s nothing that a lot of other teams aren’t doing. We just did the normal things like eating together and training together. If it proves a bonus to us then great.” The Armagh boss is likely to be without Oisín McConville against Laois rating the Crossmaglen man “very doubtful” with a back injury. He also confirmed that he expects influential young full-forward Ronan Clarke to be out for another 2-3 weeks. Teenager Clarke was operated on by former Meath All-Ireland winning midfielder and top surgeon Gerry McEntee last month to cure a groin injury.
Wexford, who play Limerick in the Division Two football league semi-final at Portlaoise on Easter Monday, took a leaf out of Armagh’s book and are currently on what is described as a training holiday in Spain. They have named the same team which defeated Carlow in their previous outing.
Limerick will have Stephen Lucey available for selection after being out of action for over a month with an ankle injury, but the team is like to be along familiar lines when announced tonight after training.
Westmeath, who will play Longford in Dr Hyde Park on Sunday (3.15pm throw-in) in the second semi-final are likely to have David O’Shaughnessy and Dessie Dolan back.
In the final games of the Munster MFC Round Robin series, Limerick need to beat Cork tonight in Newcastlewest (7pm start) to reach the knock-out stages.
Cork are already through, but their coach Dermot O’Donovan is keen for his side to finish on top of the group and will be going all-out for the win,
WEXFORD (SF v Limerick): J. Cooper; C. Morris, P. Wallace, N. Murphy; R. Mallon, D. Murphy, L. O’Brien; R. Hassey, W. Carley; P. Colfer, D. Breen, M.Forde; S. Doran, J. Hegarty, P. Carley.
CORK (MF v Limerick): J. Down (Kilmurry); E. Cadogan (Douglas), S. O’Dooghue (Ballincollig), C. Barrett (do.); M. Shields (St. Finbarrs), P. Murphy (do.), N. Horgan (St. Nicholas); A. O’Connor (St. Colms), P. Kelly (Ballincollig); J. Hayes (Carbery Rangers), B. Cotter (Ballincollig), J. Shanahan (Shamrocks); C. Weste (Ballincollig), H. Curran (Newcestown), M. Harrington (Douglas).
Subs: D. Murphy (St. Finbarrs), F. Tobin (Douglas), C. O’Connell (Doneraile), J. O’Sullivan (Bishopstown), D. Lucey (Bandon), A. Ó hAilpín (Na Piarsaigh), M. Allen (Mitchelstown), P. White (Douglas), P. O’Shea (Nemo Rangers).
WATERFORD (MF v Tipperary): T. Lynch (Brickey Rangers); G. Molloy (Clashmore), K. Connery (do.), J. Collins (do.); T. Grey (DLS), J. Jackman (Dungarvan), T. O’Brien (Kilgobnet); S. Prendergast (Kilrossanty), M. O’Connor (Ardmore); P. Hurney (Ballinacourty), M. Murphy (Dunhill/Finor), S. Fleming (Clashmore); P. Walsh (Nire), P. Lynch (Ballinacourty), J. Veale (do.).
Subs: S. Kitt (Affane), A. Norris (Ardmore), J. Carthy (Kilrossanty), J. Morrissey (Kilgobnet), K. McBride (DLS), T. O’Brien (Kilrossanty), T. Moore (Dungarvan), T. O’Regan (do.), K. O’Keeffe (Clashmore), M. Moore (Nire), J. Kirwan (Rathgormack).
CLARE MF v Kerry): T. O’Doherty (Naoimh Eoin); T. McMahon (Clarecastle), J. Cusack (Smith O’Briens), D. Flanagan (Doonbeg); R. Kane (St. Josephs Doora/Barefield), M. O’Shea (O’Currys), A. Flanagan (Doonbeg); C. Howley (St. Brackans), F. O’Shea (Doonbeg); D. Pyne (Eire Og Inis), K. King (Kilmurray/Ilbrickane), E. Coughlan (do.); B. Hehir (Eire Og Inis), H. Donnelly (Cooraclare), D. Clancy (Lissycasey).
Subs: E. Talty (Kilmurray/Ilbrickane), S. O’Mara (Eire Og Inis), S. Moran (Bally Vaughan), S. Hickey (Kilmurray/Ilbrickane), D. Killeen (do.), N. Moroney (do.), D. Killeen (Corofin).
LIMERICK (MF v Cork): T. Enright; M. Fitzgerald, P. Fox, E. Geoghegan, P. Hyland, S. Fox, B. McAuley;J. Ryan, M. Fitzgerald; R. Egan, J. Cooke, P. Keating, J. Buckley, G. Ahern, B. Fitzpatrick.
Draws for the Munster MHC second phase are: Easter Monday at Ennis, Clare v Kerry, 6.45pm. Winners to play Waterford on April 30.
Cork will play the winners of that trio in one semi-final on May 14. Second semi-final, Limerick v Tipperary, May 14.