Tuesday 23 January 2018

It's Offaly on July 2

Hurlers at home for qualifier clash

Brendan Furlong

Aidan Nolan is the latest injury victim for manager Liam Dunne (pictured) to contend with
Aidan Nolan is the latest injury victim for manager Liam Dunne (pictured) to contend with

Wexford senior hurling manager Liam Dunne faces major headaches in making a team selection for their qualifier game with Offaly at Innovate Wexford Park.

The mounting injury crisis was added to on Wednesday evening when Aidan Nolan broke down in training.

The HWH-Bunclody club player, who missed the Dublin game with a knee injury, will now undergo a scan in Santry Sports Clinic this week following a recurrence of the problem, with an operation now looking inevitable.

Players are showing the wear and tear of being out with the county along with their clubs in both hurling and football, with the Wexford injury crisis now such that it will leave Dunne without many key players for the Offaly game.

Andrew Shore and Shane Tomkins will undergo cruciate knee ligament operations in Santry Sports Clinic on June 25, which rules both players out of the game for up to twelve months.

Still out of contention following a shoulder injury is Shaun Murphy, while Liam Ryan (broken thumb) is also ruled out of the Offaly game.

However, Dunne had some positive news as both James Breen (hamstring) and Conor McDonald (knee) came through the weekend training session unscathed. Barring any setbacks, both will be fit for the qualifier game on July 2.

The future of Ian Byrne is shrouded in doubt though, with Dunne adamant the player has not been dropped from the squad.

'Both Ian and Paul (Morris) were allowed play a midweek football championship game with their club. Ian played but Paul chose to attend hurling training.

'Ian was given the following Saturday off to rest as we were having a heavy training session in Grantstown which took in the full day,' Dunne said.

'I told Ian that I would see him on the following Monday evening when he would take his first full training session in six weeks. He did not appear. I've not seen him again and he did not attend last weekend's training.

'I'm adamant that despite the rumours, Ian has not been dropped from the squad. I have not dropped him, no member of the management team has dropped him. Only Ian knows what he wants at this stage,' Dunne added.

'He has complained of a calf injury which saw him only train once in six weeks. He's had a full football game with Ferns in the club championship in the intervening period. He has not been dropped as I need every player given the injury crisis.'

Dunne, in looking ahead to the qualifier, warned that Offaly will be a formidable force.

'The last time Offaly came to Wexford Park we all know what happened. We got two early goals, decided to switch off and lost the game. A side is always given a chance to redeem themselves.

'Wexford now has that opportunity, but Offaly will also be looking at this game as one they potentially can win.'

Wexford People

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