Corner-back Domhnall O’Donovan has already been ruled out for the season after rupturing a disc in his back while midfielder Liam Markham is now a serious doubt for the game due to a broken finger. Attacker Darach Honan, who grabbed 1-1 when introduced during the Division 2 league final against Limerick, is battling a groin injury and is set to undergo treatment for the remainder of the week in a bid to be fit for the game.
Defender James McInerney, who would be a leading contender to come into the team as a replacement for O’Donovan, injured his ankle in a training game in Cusack Park on Saturday and sat out a squad training session on Sunday as a precaution. The Newmarket-on-Fergus player is still expected to be fit in time for Sunday. In better news for the Clare manager, defender Brendan Bugler who injured his leg in a challenge match against Offaly last week has successfully recovered while midfielder Nicky O’Connell is back to fitness after a recent groin injury.
Meanwhile the Cork footballers incurred no fresh injury problems over the weekend despite a number of players being involved in club action and the squad playing a challenge match against Galway in Ennis on Sunday. Cork lost that workout against Tomás Ó’Flatharta’s side by 1-10 to 0-12 but were without seven of the team who started the recent Munster semi-final win over Waterford. Goalkeeper Alan Quirke, defenders Eoin Cadogan and John Miskella, midfielder Aidan Walsh, and attacking trio Ciarán Sheehan, Patrick Kelly and Fiachra Lynch were all tied up with club or colleges action. Daniel Goulding was introduced as a substitute having played a club championship game on Friday night, while a number of panellists like Jamie O’Sullivan, David Goold and Mark Collins were given the chance to impress with starting berths.
Meanwhile Galway’s championship preparations have taken a major blow with forward Sean Armstrong set to miss out after tearing his hamstring on Sunday. Armstrong was in the latter stages of recovering from a hamstring injury when he tore it in training and looks set to miss the Connacht semi-final against arch rivals Mayo on Sunday week. Armstrong was due for a scan on the injury last night but he reckons that he will definitely be out of the Mayo clash.
“It is very disappointing to have the hamstring go on me again. Mentally it is very tough to deal with; I just seem to be having a bad year with it. I have even been doing yoga two or three times a week to strengthen them as well as extra core work.”
After initially suffering the injury playing for UL in the Sigerson Cup, Armstrong returned to club action in the first round of the Galway SFC last month with Salthill/Knocknacarra.
However, a series of training setbacks has halted his charge to be back in time for the Connacht championship.
“I was on the verge of rejoining the lads in training in the next few days but I pushed myself a bit hard during rehab on Sunday. I was mad keen to get back in contention for the Mayo game, but in one of the final sprints I felt in go.
“I am due to go for a scan shortly, but I’d imagine it is in the higher end of a grade two injury so I’ll miss four to six weeks with it. Hopefully the boys can do the business against Mayo so I will have some chance of targeting a Connacht final as a come back.”