Kildare are preparing for Sunday’s Leinster SFC final against Dublin in Croke Park without the services of three of their most experienced and influential players.
Paul Cribbin’s season was already ended when he fractured two bones in his leg following an awkward fall during the Allianz Football League Division 2 promotion play-off against Meath last month but Kildare’s injury problems were exacerbated during their Leinster semi-final win over Westmeath.
Kevin Feely and Eoin Doyle were both forced off during that game and in the immediate aftermath of the game, manager Jack O’Connor wasn’t confident that the pair would be available for the final and those fears have been realised.
The prognosis of Feely’s injury isn’t actually as bad as first feared as he avoided the dreaded cruciate injury after his collision with John Heslin.
Such an injury would have meant up to nine months on the sidelines but he is still looking at three or four months out after suffering a fracture to his tibia.
Doyle’s absence isn’t as clearcut seeing as he has amazed the Kildare management team on more than one occasion already this season by playing when it appeared that a hamstring injury would force him out but the nature of his injury against Westmeath means an appearance is unlikely.
“It’s just a pity on a personal level and on a collective level you’ve two great men, two great leaders (missing). But we have to get on with it, we’ve had a lot of knocks this year,” said O’Connor.
It’s not all bad news on the injury front as talismanic forward Daniel Flynn came through his first appearance in over two months against Westmeath unscathed and he will be expected to lead the Kildare attack on Sunday.