Brian Cody still hoping Jackie Tyrrell will be fit

Brian Cody is refusing to rule ultra experienced defender Jackie Tyrrell out of his plans for Sunday week’s All-Ireland semi-final clash with Waterford.

The hugely decorated 33-year old reportedly suffered a stress fracture of his ankle in training on Saturday.

But Kilkenny spokesman Seamus Reade insisted last night that tests were still being conducted and the full extent of the injury was not yet known.

Reade said that he spoke to 10-time All-Ireland winning manager Cody yesterday afternoon who maintained that “nothing is certain at this stage” as “more tests are being conducted”.

Kilkenny are holding a press briefing tomorrow evening in advance of the Déise date and a full disclosure of Tyrrell’s situation is expected by Cody then.

The loss of the eight-time All-Ireland medallist would be significant for the derby date and, depending on the severity of the injury, potentially an All-Ireland final.

The James Stephens club man opted not to follow a raft of fellow veterans into retirement during the close season and retained his corner-back slot for their two Championship games so far.

He was taken off in the Leinster final win over Galway and replaced by Shane Prendergast who would appear in line to replace Tyrrell if he doesn’t make the Waterford tie.

“Nothing is certain at this stage regarding Jackie, that was the strong impression I was given from Brian Cody,” said Reade last night. “I don’t know where the news came from that he was definitely gone and how that was apparently confirmed so fast.

“The situation is that more tests are being conducted and it’s going to be another day or two before we know for sure. The team was training in Nowlan Park on Saturday and some incident did occur which left Jackie with an ankle injury but that’s as much as we can say at present.

“If you’re asking me has he been officially ruled in or out of the Waterford game, then no, he hasn’t. Brian himself will be in a better position to give the full update on Wednesday evening.” Interestingly, Reade maintained that Tyrrell is among a number of top hurlers who could easily have been elsewhere last Saturday, in Tullamore, on football duty.

Former team-mate David Herity lined out in attack for the Kilkenny junior footballers who lost an All-Ireland semi-final to Mayo by seven points.

“Jackie Tyrrell, Eoin Larkin and Paul Murphy would walk onto any inter-county football team in Ireland if they weren’t committed to hurling,” claimed Reade.

Kilkenny’s other injury concern is attacker Richie Power who is recovering from knee surgery.

Meanwhile, Waterford corner back Noel Connors is confident that he will be fit for the Déise’s All-Ireland senior hurling semi-final against Kilkenny.

The Passage star was forced off with a dead leg in the first half of Sunday’s quarter-final victory over Dublin.

Connors yesterday visited Whites Hotel in Wexford for cryotherapy treatment in an attempt to speed up the healing process, as well as a dip in the sea.

Connors confirmed: “I was in the sea on Sunday night, straight away after we got home. I went to the sea the minute we got off the bus.”

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