Colm Cooper will miss Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final owing to the shoulder injury he sustained during last month’s Munster decider, Kerry manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice has confirmed.
Cooper was forced off early in the first half of the Munster final win over Tipperary four weeks ago, with a subsequent MRI scan showing the 33-year-old damaged ligaments in his right shoulder.
Michael Geaney, who replaced Cooper in Killarney, is also ruled out with an ankle injury, while Johnny Buckley is still not back at full fitness following his training ground collision with Peter Crowley.
“Colm won’t make this weekend,” said Fitzmaurice, “Johnny Buckley is making good progress, this game is probably a week too soon for him.”
Fitzmaurice isn’t surprised Clare have progressed to a first All-Ireland quarter-final and believes Colm Collins’ side have been disrespected since their win over Sligo.
“If I didn’t say it in the press conference after our Munster semi-final meeting, we were definitely commenting amongst ourselves afterwards that we thought Clare would be around for the summer because they have a lot of good footballers, they play attractive football and they are well coached.”
He added: “To be fair to both Clare and Tipperary, there was a huge lack of respect towards them. They were being dismissed because we beat them. It was very disrespectful. Both teams have gone on to show the quality they have.
“Of the teams that played in Division 1 this year, only two haven’t been beaten by a team from a lower division — ourselves and Dublin.
"The other six have all been beaten by teams in lower divisions. I think that shows the work that is going on in counties, particularly in Clare and Tipperary, the progress they have made and the wins they have had.
“When it was confirmed we were playing Clare, words like ‘farcical’ were being used and that we were inside in an All-Ireland semi-final without having played the game.
"Again, I found that disrespectful to Clare given they had got to an All-Ireland quarter-final on merit having played three tough games.
“It is good for Munster [to have three teams in the quarter-finals]. It is showing what we already knew ourselves because we came up against them.”
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