Breen a doubt due to illness
Defender in hospital stay
Despite his injury concerns, Wexford manager Liam Dunne is relishing the chance to put one over neighbours Waterford when they clash in the All-Ireland Senior hurling championship quarter-final at Semple Stadium, Thurles, on Sunday (2 p.m.).
While the game with Waterford was always going to be a difficult one, Wexford's prospects of building on their marvellous victory over Cork have been dealt a possible double blow with the news that Podge Doran is definitely out of contention, while corner-back James Breen is a huge doubt.
While Breen relished the challenge presented by Cork and Alan Cadogan, it's a game that he should probably not have played in at all having been ill from mid-week in the lead-up to the crucial clash to determine their championship standing for the remainder of the year.
Now it has transpired that Breen should not have played in the game, leaving the medics amazed at his participation.
Last week the Adamstown clubman was referred to Waterford University Hospital where he was subsequently diagnosed with viral meningitis which saw him detained over the weekend. It's not expected that he will be released before Tuesday of this week.
Now, that leaves manager Dunne and his backroom team in somewhat of a dilemma but they are prepared to wait until just before the game before deciding on the Adamstown man's fitness and ability to last a full 70 minutes of championship hurling.
'James (Breen) had been sick before the Cork game. On the Thursday he complained of being sick but on the Saturday he found himself fit to play. He really responded to the cause of Wexford hurling, although no one believed his illness was so serious,' Dunne said.
'It was not until last week that he felt unwell once again and attended Waterford University Hospital. Following tests he was diagnosed as having viral meningitis, a lesser form of the strain, but still quite serious.
'James is on treatment at the moment and will not be released from hospital until early this week. His situation will be monitored but it's a case of wait and see. We do not yet know if he is going to miss the Waterford game.'
There are also other injury concerns in the lead-up to the match. Dunne will be unable to call on a number of players who have joined his growing injury list.
'Podge (Doran) rang me this morning (Monday). He had attended a specialist in Dublin and the prognosis is not as bleak as first feared.
'Podge has been diagnosed with a micro-fracture of the knee with ligament damage. The good news is that it will not require an operation,' Dunne said.
'The specialist told him the healing will take four to six weeks which is good news for the player but we will not have him for Sunday, another huge blow.
''Podge is playing with a pin in his ankle, inserted earlier this year, which in turn leaves him with less movement, all of which contributed to his knee injury.
'Regarding Aidan Nolan he was unable to train over the weekend. His knee is what it is at the moment, so we can only expect to get ten to 15 minutes, as against Cork.'
While there was some positive news regarding Liam Ryan, he will not be fully fit to take his place from the start.
'Liam has had the plaster and pin removed from his thumb but it's still quite sore. He has not played for seven weeks.
'While he will be in contention for a place it's unlikely that he will be able to start. Still, he will give us some option from the bench,' Dunne added.
A phenomenal athlete, Ryan is a huge loss to the starting 15, as his talent, skill and physical presence will be sorely missed in the full-back line should Breen be unfit to take his place.
Another week and Ryan would have been better prepared to take his place in the starting 15.