Michael Darragh Macauley season in doubt amid cruciate injury fears

Former footballer of the year Michael Darragh Macauley is feared to have ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament, putting his 2017 championship in jeopardy.

Macauley, who turns 31 in August, is understood to have torn an ACL and is currently assessing his options as Dublin prepare to face Carlow or Wexford in a Leinster quarter-final on Saturday, June 3.

Surgery would appear to be the likely outcome for the Ballyboden St Enda’s midfielder, who had been suffering from a foot injury since Dublin’s Division 1 final defeat to Kerry last month.

However, the idea of strengthening the muscles around the trouble area has not yet been dismissed. Armagh’s Kieran McGeeney and Mayo’s Conor Mortimer are just two players who were able to play on having taken that approach.

Macauley had been wearing a protective boot to aid his recovery and did manage to line out for the club in the first round championship defeat to St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh. However, he was benched before the end of the game.

Another scan of his leg indicated Macauley had actually suffered damage in the knee area, which now jeopardises his playing involvement with Dublin as they ready themselves to claim a seventh consecutive Leinster title and three straight All-Ireland crowns.

Although Macauley hasn’t been a regular starter for Dublin in recent times, he has been a significant impact substitute. Jim Gavin will be grateful that another veteran midfielder, 36-year-old Denis Bastick, opted to commit for one more season this year although he has not yet featured for Dublin.

Gavin also has the option of moving James McCarthy or Paul Flynn to the centre to partner back-to-back All Star Brian Fenton and Ciaran Reddin could also come in for consideration. Dublin returned to collective training on Tuesday having enjoyed a five-week break

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