Tipperary hurling selector Michael Gleeson says “we’re not going to see” Lar Corbett play in the Munster senior hurling championship against Limerick.
Corbett announced his return to the Tipperary senior hurling panel over the weekend and is due back at training tonight, but Gleeson said Tipp’s first-round game comes too soon for the returning star.
“He’s lucky he doesn’t put on weight, and we’re lucky he doesn’t, but realistically we’re not going to see Lar play against Limerick,” said Gleeson. “That’s not even two weeks away. But once Lar is committed, as he is now, he’ll make a huge effort. Depending on consultations with the trainer and so on, we’re hoping once this game is out of the way we might be in a position to see him play shortly after that
“He’s an extra option we didn’t have up to now, but realistically I don’t think we’ll see him at all against Limerick.”
Gleeson acknowledged there had been plenty of rumours about Corbett’s departure.
“It’s amazing how rumours come about, absolutely. Lar made it clear to Declan (Ryan) at the start the reasons he was withdrawing. He never said he was retiring — he said he was withdrawing from the panel.
“Some people believed it, some people didn’t. People believe what they want to believe and say what they want to say, but he’s now in a position to commit himself. The panel couldn’t be happier. Everybody’s in good form there.
“It’s amazing that when you lose a game, like we lost to Cork in the league semi-final, there were rumours again about disharmony in the camp, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We had a meeting the following Tuesday night after that match, everything went well, and now that Lar is back, I’m sure he’ll have a lot to offer.”
Gleeson added: “We’re delighted, Lar’s been an integral part of this panel for the last 10 years and is very popular with the lads. He decided back in February that he couldn’t give one hundred per cent commitment to the panel, and that’s the kind he is. Due to work commitments he withdrew.
“Even then, though, he made it very clear that when he got his business sorted and when he was content he could give one hundred per cent that he’d come back, and we told him the door would be open. The lines of communication have been open all along and he decided over the weekend that he was in a position to give one hundred per cent commitment again.
“We had regular dialogue with him without hounding him, and by agreement he decided he was in a position to come back, and we’re delighted.”
Tipperary captain Paul Curran echoed Gleeson: “Sure it’s great news. I only heard yesterday evening myself. I was at a Christening and someone said to me, is Lar coming back, and I said, ‘There’s no hope,’ so that lad must think I’m the biggest liar going.”
Curran added that as Corbett “hasn’t done anything since February” he would hardly play against Limerick, adding that Corbett’s departure was a shock.
“Nobody saw that coming. We just had to respect his decision. We were always hoping he would come back, but the league went on and was over a couple of weeks and there was no sign of him so we were resigned to the fact he was taking a year out, especially when he hadn’t been involved with Thurles Sarsfieds.”
Curran warned the Tipperary supporters not to expect too much too soon from Corbett: “They think Larry is going to come on and score three or four goals, but sure he has been flat out with his pub and other business ventures and he has no training done, and I know he suffers from his hamstrings so he’ll have to be careful too. I’ll be saying to them just relax and give him time to see how he gets on.”
Apart from Adrian Ryan, who broke his collarbone in training recently, Tipperary have a full panel to pick from for that clash with Limerick.
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