Gemma O’Connor back training with Cork four weeks after suffering punctured lung

'Gemma was given the all-clear last week to resume training. She is feeling no pain at the moment, but a punctured lung is a punctured lung'
Gemma O’Connor back training with Cork four weeks after suffering punctured lung

Cork's Gemma O’Connor and Hannah Looney celebrate after winning the 2018 All-Ireland title in Croke Park. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Cork camogie manager Paudie Murray has not ruled out the possibility of Gemma O’Connor playing some part in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final.

O’Connor, who suffered a punctured lung four weeks ago, was expected to be sidelined until mid-December, but Murray has said the nine-time All-Ireland winner is ahead of schedule with her recovery.

The Cork manager is hopeful O’Connor will be available for selection for Saturday’s clash with Kilkenny (Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 12.30pm), heaping praise on the 10-time All-Star for the work she has put in in recent weeks.

“Gemma was given the all-clear last week to resume training. She is feeling no pain at the moment, but a punctured lung is a punctured lung,” said Murray.

2017 All-Ireland final match winner Julia White has also returned to training after fracturing her kneecap in a challenge game prior to the All-Ireland championship group phase throwing-in last month.

Dual player Libby Coppinger is injury-free after ankle and leg problems limited her involvement during the group stages.

Since Murray took charge ahead of the 2012 season, Cork and Kilkenny have met seven times in the championship, with Cork coming out on top in five of those fixtures.

Kilkenny are unbeaten thus far in the 2020 championship, the Cats topping their group to bypass the quarter-finals and advance directly to the last four.

Cork won their All-Ireland quarter-final, against Clare, on a 3-15 to 0-8 scoreline.

"I think we are progressing away nicely. We are a young side and a lot will depend on this game to see where we have come. Going from Wexford to Galway to Clare, I am happy enough with the way we have progressed this year," Murray continued.

If you look back over it since 2014, we have played Kilkenny 12 times, between league and championship, and we've beaten them eight times. So I think there is evidence there that we are good enough to beat them. 

"But anything other than our A game won't do here. That to me is key. They had four All-Stars last year and we had only one. People will recognise Kilkenny were probably a better team than us last year.

"We have really got to bring our A game on Saturday."

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