It had been reported Byrne suffered a fractured eye socket in a challenge game eight days ago and was hospitalised but Gavin last night confirmed the only injury had been to his nose.
The two players involved have spoken to each other in recent days and Gavin said they regret what happened. He conceded it didn’t reflect well on either team.
“Regrettably, an incident took place before a recent challenge game against Armagh,” he stated. “(It was) disappointing because I think discipline would be a core philosophy of the management teams of both teams involved.
“Subsequent to that, both players have spoken and they regret what happened and both players are now concentrating on their inter-county careers. We spoke to both players and both players have had a chat in recent days together.”
Both managers have since discussed the matter. “I’ve spoken to Kieran McGeeney about it and, like myself, he regretted it happened and was disappointed. For Kieran, discipline would be part of his philosophy as it is ours. We both regret that it happened.”
Gavin said there was no repeat of the incident as soon as the game began. “Once the ball was thrown in, it was a very spirited game. They learned a lot from it and so did we. Really good pace to the game. Some fine scores from both teams. They’ll certainly do well in the championship, I think.”
Asked if he could have done without the trouble of the incident in the build-up to Sunday’s Leinster final, he replied: “I think there are lots of distractions in the county of Dublin in terms of the players. We’re quite used now to dealing with any kind of distraction and the full focus is on the game and it’s that what is within our control.”
Gavin believes Westmeath manager Tom Cribbin’s criticism of his players in the wake of their relegation from Division 2 has proven to be a catalyst. “It’s obviously worked. They’ve had a great championship run. Three games. Seven goals and 52 points, we’d be quite chuffed if a Dublin team scored that in three games.
“Whatever they’re doing in there is working for them. They’ll come into this game with absolutely no fear. They’ll come to win as we’ll come to win and may the best team win.”
Gavin said Dublin only have a couple of concerns ahead of Sunday. Bernard Brogan, who has been in fine form in the last two games, should be able to play despite reports of his finger being in a splint. “Yeah, that happened four weeks ago in a training game, two weeks before the Leinster semi-final so that’s an old story. He’s good to go
“Denis Bastick is back, Nicky Devereux (ankle) is the only player missing at the moment, he’s just returned to play with his club Ballinteer St. John’s last week so again it’s probably a week too early for Nicky but he’s making great progress.
“Kevin O’Brien is back in the squad after his cruciate knee injury last week so that’s positive news. We’re close to full strength.”
Ger Brennan (Achilles) remains unavailable.