Clare sharpshooter Conor McGrath has emerged as a major doubt for their Munster hurling championship opener against Limerick on May 24, due to a hamstring injury.
McGrath pulled up injured 21 minutes into Clare’s relegation play-off against Kilkenny at the end of March and has struggled to regain full fitness.
He did not feature in a recent challenge with Galway on Sunday week last and was again absent in Tuesday evening’s behind-closed-doors game against the same opposition at Cusack Park, Ennis, with Anthony Cunningham’s men emerging on top.
The 23-year-old hit 1-11 in their three championship outings last summer and was a key figure in the Banner full-forward line in their run to All-Ireland glory in 2013.
With Colm Galvin having departed for Boston at the end of last month, added to the loss of Podge Collins to the county football set-up, Davy Fitzgerald is now forced to plan without three of his front eight from last year’s team.
Corner-back Cian Dillon, meanwhile, is struggling to overcome an Achilles injury and is in a race against the clock to be right for their Gaelic Grounds date. Dillon, similar to McGrath, did not figure in either of the two recent fixtures against neighbours Galway. Limerick will be without David Breen for the game, while question marks hang over the fitness of goalkeeper Nicky Quaid.
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