Clifford primed for Kerry return but O’Donoghue a doubt

The Kerry management have no concerns over David Clifford’s ability to last the full 70 minutes in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final, but fear hamstring-troubled James O’Donoghue may miss out.

Clifford primed for Kerry return but O’Donoghue a doubt

The Kerry management have no concerns over David Clifford’s ability to last the full 70 minutes in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final, but fear hamstring-troubled James O’Donoghue may miss out.

A back spasm meant Clifford played no part in last weekend’s Super 8 victory over Meath, with manager Peter Keane confirming yesterday evening that the 2018 young footballer of the year will be available to start against Tyrone.

The news is not as positive where James O’Donoghue is concerned. Keane is unsure if the 29-year-old will be fit and right by Sunday. The two-time All-Star has not featured for the Kingdom since being withdrawn at half-time in the win over Mayo on July 14.

Quirke's Football Podcast: Mayo's rock-solid bunch of people. Dubs demystified. Kerry need dogs. With Tony McEntee and Cian O'Neill.

“David is fine, but I am not so sure about James."

James was training last week, but I wouldn’t be certain on whether he’ll be available for Sunday. We have our Tuesday and Thursday get-togethers between here and the weekend and two days can be an awfully long time in this game. You can have some fella today in great shape or somebody was in great shape coming home on the bus after a match and then you are saying at the next training, there’s a problem with him. You have an ebb and flow with lads coming and going.

“I would be certain of David, but I wouldn’t be certain of James.”

Although Kerry were successful in getting the red card Tomás Ó Sé picked up against Donegal rescinded, he did not tog out against Meath because of a hamstring problem.

He got injured but it is not too serious. He trained on Sunday so it is possible he could be okay. Gavin Crowley is fine.

“Jack Barry got game-time towards the end of the Meath game which was important.”

Keane would not be drawn on whether his players are disadvantaged by having a seven-day turnaround to the All-Ireland semi-final, whereas Mickey Harte’s decision to rest his main men against Dublin means they have had a far longer layoff coming into this fixture.

“What can I do about it? Had we beaten Donegal, we would have been in the same position as Tyrone and Dublin where you could have rested a lot of fellas. But then if you rest them, are they cold for the following week. Are you as well off playing competitive games? You could be inside in training and some lad could get injured so I don’t know.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up