Cats midfielder Fennelly to miss Leinster decider

KILKENNY’S Michael Fennelly has been ruled out of next Sunday’s Leinster SHC final against Wexford after breaking a wrist in a club game.

The midfielder suffered the knock while playing for Ballyhale Shamrocks against Dunnamaggin in the local league-championship last Sunday week, but only discovered the extent of the injury in recent days.

The injury could sideline Fennelly for up to eight weeks, and it could pave the way for Derek Lyng to make his return to the side after a long injury lay-off. Lyng has yet to feature this year after undergoing ankle surgery early in the season but has since made a successful recovery.

Meanwhile, Tipperary centre half back Conor O’Mahony has emerged as a major injury concern ahead of the Munster senior hurling final showdown with Clare on July 13.

O’Mahony’s chances of starting the Gaelic Grounds decider are rated at 50-50 after he damaged his left shoulder on club duty with Newport on Saturday evening.

O’Mahony was forced out of the clash with Ballina in Nenagh and taken to the local hospital, where x-rays revealed no break, but he has sustained soft tissue damage to the a/c joint and now faces a race against time to be fit for the Banner County collision.

Tipperary county board secretary Tim Floyd, a club-mate of O’Mahony’s, revealed: “There’s nothing broken but it is a race against time now. There is soft tissue ligament damage and it is quite sore.”

If O’Mahony fails to recover in time, All Star Declan Fanning could slot into the centre-half back position. Tipp boss Liam Sheedy has received a boost, however, with the return of Éire Óg clubman Hugh Maloney to training.

Maloney has suffered three serious injury setbacks already this year, with both shoulders affected, but he now hopes that his injury problems are firmly behind him.

Tipperary sources indicated that O’Mahony’s shoulder injury is not as serious as the problems suffered by Maloney but bad enough nonetheless to now make him a serious doubt for the final.

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