Curran in fitness race for Tipp clash

CORK defender Ronan Curran will be given this week to prove his fitness for the clash with Tipperary in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship.

Cork travel to Thurles to take on the All-Ireland champions on May 29, and Curran faces a race against time to get his knee injury cleared up for the game.

His manager, Denis Walsh, was more optimistic last night about midfielder Patrick Cronin.

“Ronan has a ligament injury,” said Cork manager Denis Walsh last night. He’s had a scan, he has an injury, and we won’t leave it until next week. If he can’t go on it, he won’t be going and we’ll just have to make sure he’s ready for the next game.

“It’s a shame for him because he’s worked very hard for the last few months. But Cork and Tipp is no place for a fella carrying an injury.

“Patrick Cronin — we’ll run him out again during the week. He should be okay.”

In the blue and gold corner, Tipp midfielder Brendan Maher, a long-term doubt due to a broken ankle, has been ruled out.

“Brendan got the plaster off a couple of weeks ago and there’s no way he’ll play against Cork,” said selector Michael Gleeson last night.

“He’s recovering at his own pace but we won’t see him against Cork. We’d hope to see him within the next two months.”

Seamus Hennessy (knee) is the only other injury worry for the Premier County. “He hasn’t played since the first game against Kilkenny,” said Gleeson. “We hope to know more about the seriousness of his injury in the next couple of weeks. Apart from them, we have a few knocks and niggles but nothing serious.”

Waterford boss Davy Fitzgerald has injury concerns of his own ahead of the June 12 championship meeting with Limerick. Defender Liam Lawlor, who is in pole position to fill the full-back berth in the team to face Limerick, picked up a nasty ankle injury while playing for the Nire in the opening round of the county senior football championship last Sunday.

“I don’t know about Liam, we just don’t know yet,” said Fitzgerald yesterday. Eoin Murphy (fractured skull) will be out, and time is the thing with him. The rest of them should be okay — Maurice Shanahan (finger) will be back with us in the next week to 10 days. Whether he figures for the U21s or not we’re not sure, but he won’t be far off. Whether he has the time to get the work done to be considered for us, that’s not clear yet but the next week will tell a lot.”

Walsh, Gleeson and Fitzgerald were all speaking at the Munster championship launch at Mallow GAA club last night.

None of the above sides have the injury woes of the Offaly hurlers, who will have to line out without three of the defenders that were regulars in last year’s championship.

Paul Cleary (achilles tendon), David Franks (calf muscle) James Rigney (broken arm) have all been ruled out, in addition Joe Brady who lined out at centre-forward last year is recovering from a hip operation and Brendan Murphy who was also a regular in attack, last year, is not available. Injuries to Joe Bergin (hand), Derek Molloy (bruised rib) and Daniel Currams (hamstring) meant they were unable to line out against Limerick in a challenge game at the weekend, but it is hoped they will be back to face Dublin.

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