Former Galway captain Ollie Canning has admitted little brother Joe’s groin injury couldn’t have occurred at a worse time.
Talisman forward Canning suffered the injury in the league semi-final defeat to Waterford and subsequently underwent surgery.
Former All-Star defender Ollie said the best case scenario is that 2017 hurler of the year Joe will be back for the concluding stages of the Leinster championship.
“It was (bad timing) and he was going very well this year in the league to be fair to him,” said Ollie. “But there’s never a good time to get an injury like that.
“It must be very frustrating for him, it’s very disappointing, especially at this stage when you have got a lot of work done early in the year and the hard slogging is done and all the training from the start of the year.
“Once he got his head around the injury, it’s just about focusing his energy on trying to get the rehab and the recovery in as best as possible.
After surgery, there’s no rehab going on, you just have to let the thing settle down. So there’s no rehab for the next couple of weeks.
“After that you’ll have a better idea as to whether it will be 14 weeks, 16 weeks, 12 weeks but I’d say he’ll be aiming for some time around the end of the Leinster championship.”
With question marks around fellow forwards Johnny Glynn, Joseph Cooney and Conor Cooney for various reasons, it’s placed a giant asterisk over Galway’s forward division.
Asked who’ll replace Canning in Micheál Donoghue’s line-up, Ollie shrugged.
“It’s very difficult to say, Joe has a certain way of playing and it’s hard to compare it,” he said.
“If you lost Daithí Burke from full-back, I’d find it hard to pick a replacement for him at full-back as well because he’s so strong in that position. Micheál will have to look at what’s there.
“Could you look at the league and pick somebody off the top of your head based on league performances and pick six forwards? No, I don’t think you could. It will be difficult for Micheál to rearrange the team.”
Former Galway captain Canning said the injuries can’t be used as an excuse for non-performance during the Championship.
“Sometimes you just have to say the injuries are the injuries,” said the Sky Sports hurling analyst. “We need to see who is going well at training and Micheal has said every year that the lads playing well at training will get the start and I’d imagine it won’t be any different.”