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Monday 16 July 2018

Fitzgerald confirms Guiney's departure

Jack Guiney is no longer part of the Wexford Senior hurling squad, but team manager Davy Fitzgerald has not ruled out a return before completion of the championship campaign.

As Wexford step up their preparations this week for their Leinster championship opener with Dublin in Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday, May 20, Fitzgerald is confident of having a full squad to choose from.

Guiney, who returned to the hurling fold in November 2016, has been struggling with a knee injury for several months which curtailed him to a couple of league appearances as a substitute.

The new hurling championship format brings a barrage of games, a schedule that will test the fitness of the players, particularly Wexford who play on four consecutive weekends, opening with Dublin and then away to Offaly in O'Connor Park, Tullamore, the following weekend, two games that will have huge bearing on Wexford's prospects of advancing through to the knock-out stages.

Speaking for the first time on Guiney's position, Fitzgerald said:

'Jack (Guiney) is no longer part of the panel. Presently he is off the panel as he is struggling with his fitness levels. He has been carrying a knee problem for some months, which curtailed his training,' said the former Clare star.

Although he figured with his club, Rathnure, in their championship opening victory over Naomh Eanna, contributing 1-5 from placed balls, Fitzgerald is firmly of the belief that he is no way near inter-county fitness.

'Jack is not part of the panel. He has been four months out of serious training, the knee being slow responding to treatment, but it leaves him months behind the fitness levels of other players and what's required for inter-county hurling.

'He has been unable to train for months, so we decided to let him back to his club to have some game time with the hope he will continue treatment for his knee problem and return to full fitness.

'We have four championship games in the space of 21 days. Being honest with you a player carrying a long-term injury and being unable to train would have no place in such a fixtures schedule.

'There is no problem with the management. I have spoken with Jack this morning.

'We spoke of his injury and what's needed but even after the club championship game he did not feel right. He is now back with the club, but that's not to say he won't be back with us. Time will tell,' added Fitzgerald.

On the injury front, Fitzgerald is confident of having a fully fit squad for the championship opener.

'We return to full training this week. We will be easing Matthew (O'Hanlon) back into training having received a knee ligament injury against Kilkenny. David Dunne should be fully recovered from his ankle problem which forced him to miss recent club championship games. Colm Kehoe should also be back after a second hamstring strain, hopefully seeing some championship action,' said Fitzgerald.

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