Promising Kilkenny hurler Luke Harney is waiting to discover whether he will be left with long-term damage from a serious eye injury.
Harney, 22 next month, was forced off during the first half of Waterford IT’s recent Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-final victory over Limerick IT. The Kilmacow club man, who played for Kilkenny’s seniors in this year’s Walsh Cup, suffered the freak injury when he was struck by the sliotar on the face guard during the match.
The inside of the faceguard connected with Harney’s right eye and over a week later, full sight has not fully returned.
Harney, a former Kilkenny minor and U21 player, had played at midfield for Waterford IT in this year’s Fitzgibbon Cup but has been ruled out of finals weekend, hosted by GMIT hurling club.
WIT GAA development officer Conor Phelan said: “We’ll know more in a couple of weeks.”
It is understood Harney does not have straight-line vision yet, although his peripheral vision is clear. But there is a concern that Harney may not regain 100% vision in his right eye. Minor surgery is an option if the situation does not improve over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Galway star Conor Cooney and his St Thomas’ clubmate Bernard Burke will not face each other in the Fitzgibbon Cup this afternoon after they were pulled from the competition.
The pair are preparing for an AIB All-Ireland senior club hurling final against Kilcormac-Killoughey on St Patrick’s Day and will not be risked with their colleges.
However Kilkenny’s Cillian Buckley, Walter Walsh and John Tennyson could feature for University College Dublin against University College Cork in this afternoon’s Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final at Carnmore GAA club in Galway. The trio have played no part for UCD to date in this year’s competition because of injury but they are available for selection. Their return to fitness will also come as a welcome boost to Kilkenny boss Brian Cody.
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