Cork must plan without Eoin Cadogan and Darragh Fitzgibbon for this Saturday’s Munster Championship clash with Waterford.
Injury has ruled both players out, while manager Kieran Kingston also pointed out that Robbie O’Flynn’s suspension, picked up before the lockdown in March, means he misses this weekend also.
Kingston said: “With the turnaround time involved we have two players who are definitely out. Eoin Cadogan and Darragh Fitzgibbon are definitely out. Eoin has had a procedure on his back and this game is just a bit too soon for him. Darragh has a hamstring issue and it’s a bit soon for him as well.”
The Cork boss said he had no issue with O’Flynn’s suspension arising from his sending-off against Galway in the league last spring but pointed out that the Erin’s Own player had received the suspension eight months ago.
“It’s a bit crazy that Robbie is missing this match because of something that happened in a different world, really.
“We spoke to our own guys in the board and they made representations on our behalf. For me the frustrating thing is that Robbie was sent off eight months ago in our last competitive game.
“We have no issue with the suspension, I just feel sorry for Robbie.
“He played in the league with us, played in the Fitzgibbon, had a good championship with the club and did well to get back into the scene — I just feel sorry for the player with the year that’s in it.”
Kingston had better news of Colm Spillane, who picked up a knock on club duty with Castlelyons some time ago.
“Colm had an injury but he’s been back training the last couple of nights and is available for selection.”
The manager pointed out that there had been “a great club championship” in Cork but because of the lockdown he and his selectors had not had a chance to see promising club players in inter county action.
However, he identified members of the winning Blackrock side who were now promoted to the county panel.
“We have a revolving panel, and we added a number of players at the end of the club championship — Daniel Meaney, Shane Barrett, Tadhg Deasy, and Alan Connolly.
“There are a couple of other players carrying injuries out of the club championships, the lads who played the county final are only back a couple of weeks — and there was a significant number of players involved in that final.
“The downside is that we had a great club championship and there were lads who put their hands up, but it’s hard to get game time into them in the couple of weeks we have. We don’t have a league or anything to get a look at them.
“And we have to be fair to them, it’s a massive jump from club hurling to senior inter-county hurling, and that’s not just on the field, it’s all that goes with it. Those who’ve come in see that gap so we have to be fair to them in how we introduce them.
“Also, we didn’t have the chance to see the U20s play, so that narrows your options further.”
Eoin Cadogan outlined the medical issue that rules him out of this weekend’s game.
“The operation went very well, I was probably carrying it a small bit though the Cork club championship and obviously when we were knocked out at the quarter-final stages we felt it was good time to nip it in the bud.
“We were beaten on the Sunday, I met the surgeon on the Monday, had the operation on the Tuesday, so it was quite a quick process thanks to the Cork medical backroom team.
“It was a very minor procedure, I’ve returned to training — the Waterford game has probably come just a bit too soon based on how the guys are going and the amount of work they’ve done over the last couple of weeks.
“I’m obviously very disappointed not to be involved this weekend but there’s an opportunity there now for somebody else, and the bottom line is that we want Cork to win, so whoever plays, plays.
“I’m building up my pitch time — with inter-county hurling you can’t just get off the couch and just throw yourself into a Munster Championship game, but I’m very happy with my progress so far. All good.”