The Bishopstown clubman sustained an “uncomplicated fracture of his fibula” in last month’s Munster SHC final win over Limerick, and time is running out on his bid to play this weekend.
“It’s looking very doubtful but you’re always hoping,” said Cork selector Johnny Crowley yesterday.
“He has the protective boot off and he trained last Thursday and Saturday with us, but realistically he’s been in it for three weeks so it’s going to be a big ask to have him fit to play against Tipperary.
“We’ll give him every chance, obviously, to get right for the game.
“We’ll train tonight and discuss the possibilities afterwards and probably come to a decision then.
“As I say, we’ll give him every opportunity but he’s only done three full training sessions without the boot, so it’s a tall order.”
The expectation is that Paudie O’Sullivan, having recovered from a serious leg injury himself, will start if Cronin doesn’t make it. O’Sullivan replaced Cronin at half-time in the Munster final and scored a crucial goal for the Rebels, but Crowley says all the forwards on the panel are going well.
“We have some good options if Patrick doesn’t make it, Paudie did very well when he came on in the Munster final but Stephen Moylan is also going well, and Luke O’Farrell has showed up well since re-joining us after his shoulder injury.
“All the forwards available to us have impressed in the last few weeks, and we’re very happy with our options.”
Crowley confirmed that Mark Ellis, a doubt for the Munster final with a knee injury is fully recovered.
“Apart from Patrick we have a clean bill of health as of now.
“We’ll need that for Sunday — it’s going to be a huge physical challenge against Tipperary but it’s a good place to be at this time of year.”