Joe Canning is confident the knee problem which forced him to miss his first game for Portumna through injury since he made his debut 12 years ago will not be a factor for Galway’s opening game in the championship in just over five weeks.
The triple All-Star has never missed a match through injury since he made his debut as a 15-year-old, but was forced to sit out Portumna’s 2-13 to 0-16 win at the weekend over last year’s runners-up Craughwell. Galway do not know who they will face in their Leinster championship opener on June 5 as they await to play the winner of the round robin series involved Offaly, Westmeath, Carlow and Kerry.
“It’s just a small cartilage issue in my knee. I am hoping to be back this weekend. I went for a bit of a jog so if I don’t feel any ill-effects throughout the rest of the week I should be okay.
“It’s only just the wear and tear more so than anything. We will have a lot of club action over the next few weeks so hopefully we won’t pick up any injuries,” said the 27-year old.
Canning said while Galway were disappointed to be relegated in the NHL all their attention now was on getting ready for another assault on the championship having come so close to winning it for the first time since 1988 when they were beaten in the final by Kilkenny.
And Canning acknowledged the All-Ireland champions are still the team to beat — and warned Cody’s men would be all the hungrier having lost the league semi-final to Clare.
“You would be a fool to think the semi-final performance is going to reflect anything on the rest of the year. Everybody has one of those days where it just doesn’t go right.
“It’s probably bad for the rest of us it was a league semi-final, and not an All-Ireland semi-final or final. They are going to learn from that and be better the next day. It is a bit like 2012 in the Leinster final when we played them. And then they were better throughout the year after that. Every team is going to fear Kilkenny, there is no point in saying otherwise.”
But Canning believes Galway will again be hot on Kilkenny’s heels in a championship race where he reckons at least half a dozen teams will fancy their chances.
“We are looking forward to it. We didn’t get to the All-Ireland last year because we were a bad team, and hopefully it will be a good year for us. But, for sure, everybody respects everybody else.
“I don’t think any player trains so much and puts in so much of an effort for seasons, or even for this year alone, to not think that they can win an All-Ireland.
I certainly believe we have a chance of winning. I am sure the Clare lads, the Tipperary lads, the Cork lads and so on have a belief that they can win it.”
Joe Canning was speaking at the launch of the newly refurbished state of the art LifeStyle Sports store in the Galway Retail Park, boasting four specialised zones including; Boot Room, Run Club, Trainer Central and Women’s Studio, offering the latest in clothing, footwear and boots from the biggest international brands.
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