Fennelly: Cody return shocked Cats

Michael Fennelly has revealed the Kilkenny players were kept in the dark again about Brian Cody’s return to duty.

Boss Cody shocked the players in early April when he revealed, shortly before a public announcement was made, that he was taking time out after a heart procedure. There was equal surprise at the weekend when the legendary manager returned unannounced and took charge of training ahead of Sunday week’s Leinster championship opener with Offaly.

Former All-Ireland winning-captain Fennelly only saw Cody briefly because he was taking part in a rehab session after damaging ankle ligaments. But he said it was generally back to business as usual for the panel as Cody assessed their pre-championship sharpness on the training field.

“He just slipped back in and that was it,” said Fennelly. “It was just get back on with it as usual, get on with business. In fairness, he was only out for a few months so he just slipped back in.

“I didn’t know anything about it, that he was coming back. I was actually in doing rehab so I barely saw him myself. But he looked fine. I saw him before training and that was it.”

Cody now looks set for a full involvement in the Leinster championship opener with Offaly on Sunday week. Midfielder Fennelly, who starred in the Allianz League final defeat of Tipperary with 2-3, is definitely out with ankle trouble though.

He damaged ankle ligaments during a club game for Ballyhale Shamrocks and suspected at the time that his summer may be over. He was previously laid up for over three months with an injury to his other ankle and believed the latest setback was similar.

“It felt the same again and I thought I could be gone for three months,” said Fennelly. “I got a bit of a fright but thankfully it’s not as bad as that because the ligament on the outside is not as big as the one on the inside which I did the last time. It could still be three, four or five weeks.

“Everyone thought there was a break because the swelling was so bad. I iced it for a few days and I went for a scan. I’m still waiting on the results of that but I can put weight on it so hopefully it will be three or four more weeks.”

Fennelly said club and colleague TJ Reid should be fit for selection against Offaly after a long-term knee injury. But John Tennyson is out for good after confirming his retirement at the weekend.

“He has been crippled with injuries,” said Fennelly of 28-year old Tennyson. “He did his cruciate twice. He didn’t get a run in the league. Maybe he feels he wasn’t adding anything to the team or the panel. Again, you could see him back in a year or two if he gets injury free.”


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