Fennelly frustrated in efforts to join Cats’ fight

MICHAEL FENNELLY faces a race against time to recover from a broken hand in time for Kilkenny’s Leinster hurling championship opener next month.

The All Star midfielder cracked a bone in his hand against Offaly in the Allianz League and was forced to sit out the final defeat to Dublin at Croke Park.

He received a setback last Friday when an x-ray showed the break hasn’t fully healed, requiring him to wear corrective splints for a fortnight.

“I don’t have that many weeks left until the championship, I am cutting it very tight now,” said Fennelly. “I am doing running and I did a weights session on Sunday evening as well.

“I will try to get back into that now. But I can’t hit the ball yet. I am still fairly limited. But as every day goes by it is getting stronger and stronger. Hopefully I will be pucking around by the end of next week. I say that hopefully.”

In Fennelly’s absence Kilkenny suffered a morale sapping league final defeat to Dublin, who ran out convincing winners. They were also without key performers like Tommy Walsh, JJ Delaney and Henry Shefflin, all of whom will be hoping to be fit enough to make a big impact on the championship and prove the Cats aren’t a spent force.

“That question is there,” accepted Fennelly. “But nothing has changed for us. We have been there at the top for the last few years. It has been hard to stay at the top.

“We got knocked down last year. We just have to regroup and get the hunger back, get the work rate going again.

“It comes down to hunger. If you don’t have hunger you have nothing.”

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