CORK defender Noel O’Leary is out of the Munster football final after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in Sunday’s Cork county championship defeat for his Muskerry division to Ballincollig.
O’Leary damaged his AC (or acromioclavicular) joint on the point of the shoulder, during Muskerry’s narrow defeat at Cloughduv.
O’Leary picked up the injury in the second half, but completed the game. However, subsequent medical examination confirmed the damage to the shoulder joint, ruling him out of contention to face Kerry in the Munster SFC final on July 6 in Páirc Ui Chaoimh.
The injury is another blow to Cork coach Conor Counihan’s defensive options for the battle with the old enemy. Newcomer Paudie Kissane of Clyda Rovers broke his forearm in Cork’s previous outing in the Munster championship, the dramatic late win over Limerick on June 15, and he may not play again this season. Midfielder Alan O’Connor was also injured against Limerick and remains a doubt for the decider.
Counihan can call on the experienced Anthony Lynch to fill in at wing-back, while Kieran O’Connor of Aghada came on to replace Kissane in the Munster semi-final and could start against Kerry.
Ironically Eoin Cadogan, who starred for Douglas footballers over the weekend in their win over Naomh Aban, would have been an obvious replacement for either Kissane or O’Leary, but the dual star has committed to Cork senior hurlers this season.
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