Tyrone boss Mickey Harte rules Ronan McNabb out of Derry clash

Ronan McNabb will play no part in Tyrone’s Ulster Football Championship opener against Derry on Sunday week.

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte rules Ronan McNabb out of Derry clash

McNabb is back in full training after almost a year out with a cruciate knee ligament injury, but manager Mickey Harte last night ruled the Dromore man out of the Celtic Park clash.

“It is too early to ask him to go from no competitive football, or 20 minutes competitive club football, after being out with a cruciate, to go in to be ready at that level,” said Harte.

“I think it is too much to ask him, but I think he has made wonderful progress, he has really worked so hard to get himself into the condition that he’s in, and I think it’s a great credit to him that he didn’t let the whole escapade let him down. He really went to town on getting ready as fast as he could. I think it’s to his credit that he is.”

Serious doubts also surround the availability of Omagh pair Conor Meyler and Conor Clarke, who have hamstring and ankle problems, but there’s more positive news on former All-Star full-back Justin McMahon, whose hamstring strain is not as serious as initially feared when he pulled up during a club game last weekend.

“We’d be hoping that it’s something that we can manage over the next couple of days,” said Harte.

“There’s always a few injuries when you’re working with a squad of 30-plus players, and when they’re playing rounds of league football, there’s always some niggles that come into play.”

Meanwhile corner-back Paul Cotter makes his championship debut while Gareth Dillon has a first start as Laois face Wicklow in the Leinster SFC tomorrow in Portlaoise (7pm).

LAOIS (SF v Wicklow):

G Brody (Portlaoise); S Attride (Killeshin), M Timmons (Graiguecullen), P Cotter (Portlaoise); D O’Connor (Timahoe), D Strong (Emo), G Dillon (Portlaoise); J O’Loughlin (Naomh Bríd), B Quigley (Timahoe); N Donoher (Courtwood), P Cahillane (Portlaoise), E O’Carroll (Crettyard); R Munnelly (Arles Kilcruise), G Walsh (Ballylinan), D Kingston (Arles Killeen).

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