Ger Cunningham urges Niall McMorrow to focus after injury

Short-term pain, long-term gain is Ger Cunningham’s attitude to Niall McMorrow’s thumb injury after it was confirmed the 25-year-old will miss Sunday week’s Leinster semi-final against Galway.

McMorrow saw a specialist yesterday morning about the knock sustained in training earlier this month which will keep him out for up to two months.

“It was just an injury to the tendon that holds the thumb in place,” said Cunningham. “He has done some damage to that. Since the Galway game in the league, he has settled in really well. He played very well against Limerick and he played very well against Cork. It’s disappointing for the player himself.”

The Dublin boss admits that surgery is the best option. “The danger is that if you leave it go, it could develop into something that would be harder to fix. It looks like he needs an operation to put back the tendon. Hopefully, it will only be four to six weeks of a layoff.”

Cunningham appreciates McMorrow naturally feels let down having fought hard to stake a claim for a permanent first team role, not only that a new one in midfield. “Niall has been trying to establish himself for the last couple of years. (He) Probably was more renowned as a corner-forward. He played a couple of club matches midfield and we just said we would give him a go there.

“He’s a very fit guy. A very good hurler. So he’s really disappointed that he’s missing out for the next couple of matches. But hopefully his season won’t be over. Hopefully, he’ll be back.”

As for the departure of Ross O’Carroll from the panel to concentrate on club football commitments with Kilmacud Crokes, Cunningham admits he was slightly taken aback by the decision.

“We got very little indication that he was thinking that way. But he is very focused on club. I was talking to fellas afterwards and it means a lot to him. I think the next game is a knockout game in Dublin and he said he wanted to focus on that.”

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