Larkin heads Kilkenny injury list

Team captain Eoin Larkin is Kilkenny's main injury concern ahead of their Leinster SHC final clash with Galway on Sunday.

Team captain Eoin Larkin is Kilkenny's main injury concern ahead of their Leinster SHC final clash with Galway on Sunday.

Larkin sustained an ankle injury in training almost two weeks ago and has not been able to train fully since, with Colin Fennelly, JJ Delaney and Paul Murphy also nursing injuries from the semi-final win over Dublin.

Cats manager Brian Cody says that nobody has been ruled out as of yet for the provincial decider, and there is renewed hope that Larkin will be fit to lead the side.

"Eoin went over on his ankle last week in training and he hasn't trained since. “He did a small bit of jogging on Sunday so we’re hoping that by the weekend certainly that he’ll be fine," admitted Cody.

"We expect Eoin to be okay. We have injuries no doubt. But there’s nobody ruled out and there are definitely a few players not ruled in yet. You’d be speculating at this stage."

Expanding on the other injuries in the squad, he added: "JJ (Delaney) picked up a finger injury and obviously had to come off against Dublin and there’s no certainty of his availability. He's not ruled out

"Colin Fennelly picked up an injury that day and hasn’t trained since. Paul Murphy took a heavy knock and hasn’t trained."

Kilkenny have dominated their Championship encounters with Galway over the years, winning 26 of the counties' previous 34 matches.

With the exception of 2004 when they lost to Wexford in the semi-final, Kilkenny have appeared in every Leinster final since 1998, winning them all.

The last time Kilkenny were beaten in the Leinster final was 1997 when they went down to Wexford (2-14 to 1-11). Cody is attempting to lead Kilkenny to Leinster glory for the 13th time, having taken over back in 1999.

He rates Sunday's opponents highly, even though Galway have struggled for silverware in recent years.

"Galway have brought their abilities, their talents and the excellence of their team. When people make a list of potential All-Ireland winners at the start of the year, they're on it," insisted Cody.

"You talk about Kilkenny and Dublin and everything else, but the last time Galway played Dublin in a knockout match, a competitive match, they were excellent and gave Dublin a serious beating that day.

"The last day against Offaly, they produced a whirlwind start. The game was over early on. People talk about Kilkenny killing off teams, Galway killed off Offaly completely in the early stages of that game. It was game over.

"They've brought that standard and are a top team. You look around and see the potential and young talent that is there. They're an outstanding team even though they haven't won in the last few years."

The Tribesmen, in manager Anthony Cunningham's first season, are seeking their first Leinster title having joined the Championship for the first time in 2009.

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