The Cork senior hurling management may have to plan for the early rounds of the championship without Newtownshandrum’s Tim O’Mahony, who picked up a suspected fractured elbow over the weekend.
Newtown beat Kanturk in their local championship opener but O’Mahony’s injury means Cork may have to plan without the rangy defender, who lined out at centre-back for the Rebels in several NHL games this spring. Further details on O’Mahony’s injury are expected this week.
Meanwhile, Cork football manager Ronan McCarthy outlined Brian O’Driscoll’s injury woes at yesterday’s Munster GAA launch, but the Douglas clubman had better news of long-term injury concern Brian Hurley yesterday.
“Brian, we’ve had a bit of a roller-coaster in that he was out and gone for the season, and then there was a possibility he’d be back,” said McCarthy.
“At the moment we’re going to delay the operation and he has some chance of being involved, an outside chance, I’d say, but we’ll see over the next couple of weeks. But we wouldn’t rule him out for the year yet.
“It’s a hamstring injury but just more complicated than a standard injury. He’s been in London, he’s gotten the best medical advice, but we’re just a bit uncertain.
“If he had a bit of luck — and he deserves it, because he’s put in a huge effort to get back after a serious shoulder injury — we’ll give him every chance to play some part in the championship.”
On the other hand, Hurley featured in a recent challenge game for Cork, which encouraged McCarthy about his prospects of championship football this year: “Brian’s come a long road. He played against Galway last week in a challenge and it was a real bonus for us. I felt he was going to be later in the summer before we’d see him, but we have to be careful as well.
“Let’s not lose the run of ourselves — it was 25 minutes of a challenge game, so we’ll watch him and monitor him, but it’s a bonus.
“He has a tremendous attitude, it’s infectious in the group. He went into the game and the Galway full-back knew he was there immediately, I’ll put it that way, and people rise to that.
“It’s brilliant to have him around, he’s a real competitor but we have to be careful with him, and we will be.”
Barry O’Driscoll of Nemo Rangers has left the panel, McCarthy revealed.
“Barry’s opted out so he won’t be with us. Look, we laid our cards on the table, we wanted him to be there and he said he wanted to opt out. We’ll move on.
“I can only go back to when I played myself, and I’d want to be there, but everyone makes their own decision. At the end of the day Barry was straight up, no messing, and while I mightn’t agree with his decision we respect it and we drive on.”
McCarthy said Cork’s opener, against the winners of Tipperary and Waterford, may come too soon for some of the other injured players on the squad.
“I think the game will too soon for Sean Powter and for Paul Kerrigan, but Aidan Walsh should be fine. He’s back training fully. There was a question at one stage about an operation but I think we’re fine there.
That’s obviously a positive.
“Paul — it’ll be too soon for him, I’d think, though we haven’t ruled him out. It’d be a major surprise, though, if Sean Powter and Paul Kerrigan play any role in the Tipperary or Waterford game.”
James Loughrey also played in the challenge game against Galway, added McCarthy, who welcomed the new Cork funding body, Cairde Chorcai.
“I don’t think it’s badly needed, it’s a welcome addition to the funding that’s there. It’s a supplementary fund and that means it’s extra.
“I’m manager this year but I was a selector for Conor Counihan for one year, for Brian Cuthbert for two years, and I’m not aware of a Cork team ever wanting for anything that they asked for.
“I’m only six months in place but we’ve never got what we asked for from the board. What this does, it adds to it, but it’s important that the money is used properly and creatively, and that there’s value for money out of it, basically.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved