Cooney a major doubt for Galway, admits Cunningham

Galway hurler Conor Cooney is unlikely to figure against Tipperary in Sunday week’s All-Ireland semi-final, according to manager Anthony Cunningham.

Half-forward Cooney, Galway’s sole All Star nominee in 2014, has not played a single minute of competitive hurling in the maroon shirt this year as he continues to recover from a second metatarsal fracture.

Cunningham confirmed Cooney has returned to light training, but said he’s not likely to feature in their bid for an All-Ireland final berth — the 22-year old last lined out for his county in the qualifier defeat to Tipperary 12 months ago.

“Conor is a doubt. He’s slower than we thought, or everyone thought, getting back,” the Galway hurling boss said last night.

“He’s limited in what he can do. We’d still be hopeful that he’ll get a couple more training sessions in but it’s unlikely he’ll figure.

“He’s able to train, but it’s a bit sore for two or three days after so there’s a lot of recovery. He’s a bit of a hip problem too.”

David Collins, who was not fully fit heading into the Cork game due to a hamstring injury, is likely to resume his place in the half-back line on Sunday week — he was introduced with 13 minutes remaining in Thurles.

“He hadn’t a whole pile done before the Cork game. He hadn’t played a whole pile of matches before that as he had picked up a pretty serious hamstring injury, but he’s a very strong athlete and does a lot of gym training. He was back faster than most.”

Cyril Donnellan and David Burke were both withdrawn in the quarter-final victory, both precautionary moves, stressed Cunningham.

“David Burke is fine. He just got a knock into the neck there and the shoulder. It was just soreness on his shoulder so he’s fine. He has played hurling since.

“Cyril, as you know, had a serious operation on his groin last year so, again, he wouldn’t train as hard as the others. He’s back to full fitness though and he’s fine, but he wouldn’t train two or three days in a row now. He can’t do that.”

Cunningham revealed there would be no l et-up in training until the Friday before the Tipperary clash “We’ll still play hurling for the next two or three sessions up until the middle of next week so fingers crossed there’ll be no injuries accrued. We’ve had a few broken fingers out of training in the past.

“Most definitely you can’t wrap them up and at this time of year, if you lose a week’s training, hurling training – you can do ball work and you can do your runs or whatever, but if you don’t hurl, you are back.

“On the Friday we always do a loose warm out, run out and stuff. You’d always be trying to find out what other teams do. Usually they don’t do much on a Friday.”

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