Kelly fitness boost for Déise

Waterford hurling boss Michael Ryan will be boosted by star forward Eoin Kelly’s clean bill of health after last weekend.

Kelly’s long-standing thumb injury had threatened to rule him out of Waterford’s upcoming SHC clash with Clare, but the passage sharpshooter came through his club’s encounter with Lismore last Sunday with no reaction from the thumb.

He is now likely to figure in Ryan’s starting 15 against the Banner.

It wasn’t all good news for Ryan, however, after it emerged Shane O’Sullivan is to spend the summer abroad.

The Ballygunner utility man, who has played in defence and midfield for the county, flies out to the US today along with his club mate Brian O’Sullivan.

Their departure will be a massive loss to the county champions who are struggling to make the knockout stages of the senior championship.

In a further blow, Ballyduff Upper’s Stephen Molumphy is a doubt ahead of their Munster SHC opener against Clare on June 17 after picking up a knock to his shoulder in the club championship clash with Ballygunner last weekend.

There was further bad news when All Star defender Noel Connors of Passage lasted just 22 minutes of the clash with Lismore before having to retire with a reoccurrence of the thigh injury that has troubled him this season.

Ryan added: “It's just about the last thing in the world I would have wanted right now and if I’m honest its not looking great for Noel.

“However if anyone can battle his way back to fitness he is the player, and I am hoping against hope he will okay for the big game against the Banner’’.

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