Oisín Mullin is believed to be winning his fitness battle to play a role for Mayo in Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC final.
Last season’s Young Footballer of the Year Mullin, who missed the semi-final win over Dublin due to a quad injury, has been receiving intense treatment in a bid to face Tyrone.
At Mayo’s All-Ireland final press evening almost three weeks ago, manager James Horan admitted that the final being put back by 13 days gave Mullin a better opportunity to line out, saying: “Each day is a bonus. I honestly don’t know whether he’ll make it or not, but every day is important at this stage.”
As reported by the Irish Examiner last month, Mullin is expected to be offered an AFL contract in the coming weeks. AFL preliminary semi-finalists Geelong Cats, who already have Zach Tuohy, Mark O’Connor, and Stefan Okunbor on their books, are believed to be leading the charge for the 21-year-old’s signature.
Mayo remain hopeful All-Star Mullin will turn down the opportunity to follow the likes of fellow countymen Pearse and Cian Hanley at a career in AFL.
Eoghan McLaughlin, who started against Dublin in place of Mullin, could also be in line to tog out, despite having his jaw fractured in two places. Instead of having his jaw wired, McLaughlin has had plates inserted.
Captain Aidan O’Shea is still believed to be carrying a slight foot injury that impacted him prior to the All-Ireland semi-final win over Dublin, but it is not expected to rule him out of the game.
The Breaffy man, who made his 150th appearance for the county in July, is in line for his 74th in championship games this weekend, and has not missed an SFC game since 2012 — a span of 62 outings.
Speaking after the victory over Dublin, Horan said O’Shea had suffered an issue coming into the game: “Aidan had an injury coming in, so he worked hard, but we just needed to make a substitute at that time.”
At the All-Ireland final press conference, Horan explained that O’Shea wore a protective boot prior to that match. “They throw on those boots very frequently; I’m always onto the medical team, and we’ve a pile of them around the place all the time.”
O’Shea was feared to have ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the first week of training following the lockdown, but a scan revealed that no ligament damage had been done.
Meanwhile, Tyrone were without the likes of Rory Brennan and Richard Donnelly for their All-Ireland semi-final win over Kerry last Saturday week, and there is doubt they will be part of the group for Saturday. Donnelly hosted TeamTalkMag’s All-Ireland semi-final preview evening at his Natur & Co Social Wellness Club days prior to the Kerry match.
Co-manager Feargal Logan chose not to provide an injury update at the team’s All-Ireland final press evening, saying: “Whatever about any other debate, in the privacy of the squad, we would just honour our position. We’ll review it all and see where it lands us, but be assured that there were several players that we just felt were not right.”