Déise star Connors hopeful of facing Cats

Waterford defender Noel Connors is hopeful he’ll recover from sciatica for Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League clash with Kilkenny.

“Hopefully I’ll be in contention,” said Connors, who missed out on the opening day defeat to Cork with the complaint.

“I want to pay but if I go back and hurt myself I’ll be out for a few weeks. It’s 50-50 but if there’s any chance I can play, I will. After being beaten by Cork it’s an uphill struggle, with Kilkenny putting in a good performance against Tipp. We’ve only two games at home, Kilkenny and Dublin, so you can’t afford to wait on Dublin — you could be facing relegation by that time.”

Connors is optimistic manager Michael Ryan will have a full panel to pick from this weekend: “The majority of the lads missing for the Cork game should be back.

“We were unlucky, we had some small niggling injuries and felt lads should be rested. Most, if not all, should be back.

“Kilkenny on Sunday is the focus, the main aim is to win the next game. If you look into the future you can get caught up in what you can win or lose, so we as a team decided to go from week to week, to concentrate on the team we play every weekend — so Kilkenny are our focus.”

Connors said the Cork game was hard to watch from the sideline.

“It was a big disappointment, home advantage is a big thing in the league, Cork had a big support for the new manager, and for Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, so it was a big ask, but the goals they got were the difference. I’m not used to being on the sideline or to being injured.

It was tough to take. But sport’s a learning curve, you have to take that on board.”


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