Mayo’s Leeroy Keegan has hit out at the “very dirty tackle” which left colleague Evan Regan nursing a nasty facial injury at the weekend.
Keegan is understood to be referring to an incident involving Kerry defender Ronan Shanahan in the second half of Mayo’s defeat to the Kingdom in Castlebar after which Regan was visibly dazed and helped off the pitch. Shanahan was booked by referee Derek O’Mahony for the challenge.
Former Footballer of the Year Keegan, currently recovering from hip surgery, confirmed that Regan will be out of action for some time.
And Mayo GAA confirmed last night that the attacker had suffered a facial fracture. “Evan sustained a facial bone fracture and concussion injury.
“He is receiving appropriate treatment and follow up with specialists opinion early this week.”
Kerry finished with 13 men and former boss James Horan claimed in his newspaper column that Mayo were “pushed around by a bunch of young lads” in the Division 1 encounter.
“Evan Regan got a bad injury at the weekend, so that could curtail his league campaign again,” said Keegan.
“I thought he was doing okay in the game, I thought he had a good game against Monaghan too. But he got a bad tackle at the weekend, a very dirty tackle and he got a bad outcome there.
“He’s going to have to try and look after that now for a couple of months.”
Kerry duo Ronan Shanahan and Gavin Crowley were both dismissed in a hard-hitting MacHale Park encounter. Keegan said he had a good view of the challenge on Regan and was furious with it.
“A very bad challenge to be honest, I was literally in line with it,” continued the Westport man. “It was bad now I have to say. I was chatting to him (Regan) yesterday and he was in a bad way still. I know he got a bit of bad news, he has to get surgery now I think.
“That’s the outcome of that which is unfortunate because it was a prime opportunity for him to put his name in there and to try to get a starting spot for Championship. It’s something he has been trying to do for the last couple of years. As I said, he had started well in the league so it’s unfortunate.
“A couple of years ago against Kerry he broke his collarbone as well. Kerry seem to be a bit of a bad omen for him at the moment.”
Regan will join Keegan, Chris Barrett (knee), Donie Vaughan (hip) and Seamus O’Shea (knee) in Mayo’s sickbay while Alan Dillon has retired, reducing their Allianz league options.
Keegan said he expects to be back himself at the tailend of the campaign following hip surgery. “I’d like to get some minutes in the league,” said the experienced wing-back.
“As a player you want to get back as quickly as possible but I’m going to follow my medical guidelines as best as possible because I don’t want a setback with the Galway game on May 13. It’s a short gap between the league and the Championship.
“I’m looking at getting minutes in the second last game or the last game, then I’ll be very happy.” Keegan admitted last September’s one-point All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin, their third since 2013, still rankles though he maintains they’re not far off.
“I think once we get over the line once with them (Dublin) we’re going to have the belief to say, ‘You know what, if we get them in another big game we know we can beat them’,” said Keegan. “And we already believe we can beat them, that’s not our issue. It’s just that we have to actually beat them, that’s where our problems have come from.”
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