Defender Fives was ruled out of the concluding stages of last year’s championship with a similar issue and Déise selector Dan Shanahan confirmed they are planning without the Tourin clubman for the Munster SHL and possibly the first two rounds of the Allianz League.
But Fives is Waterford’s only long-term injury worry as they plan for Sunday’s Munster League opener against Limerick at Fraher Field. Shanahan said: “Darragh is the only long-term injury concern but he should be ok for the second or third round of the League. Apart from that, we have a clean bill of health. Darragh’s problem is not as bad as first feared and he’s doing a bit of light running on the field. The physio will let us know when he’s good to go.” Shanahan also confirmed a knee injury sustained by promising young defender Micheál Harney will rule him out for upto 8 weeks.
Harney was drafted in to make up the numbers in a recent workout against Dublin but fell on his knee. It had been feared the Bunmahon man, who starred at wing-back for the All-Ireland winning U21s last year, had sustained cruciate ligament damage but scans have revealed no long-term damage.
Currently, 13 players who started for Waterford in the comprehensive All-Ireland U21 final win over Galway are part of the senior set-up, along with Peter Hogan, who made a late substitute’s appearance.
Goalkeeper Billy Nolan, who was prohibited from playing for the U21s last year under a GAA age rule, has also made the step-up.
And Shanahan said: “We’re trying out a lot of lads at the moment, to see can a few make it up to the grade.