independent

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Jack's race against time

Guiney knee injury a concern ahead of championship

Brendan Furlong

Jack Guiney’s knee injury has lessened the likelihood of his involvement with the Senior hurlers in their championship opener. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Jack Guiney’s knee injury has lessened the likelihood of his involvement with the Senior hurlers in their championship opener. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

In what will be a hectic summer of hurling action, Wexford are looking no further than their Leinster Senior championship opener with Dublin on May 20.

With club activity now at its peak, with football and hurling games continuing over the next two weekends, Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald is watching anxiously and hoping that there won't be any additions to his injury list.

Given the championship demands, with four games over successive weekends, Fitzgerald is confident that both Eoin Moore and Shane Tomkins will be available to resume full training on May 1, when the squad will re-gather to focus on their opening two games against Dublin and Offaly.

Victories in both will be crucial in an effort to progress through to the knockout stages, particularly with games against reigning All-Ireland champions, Galway, and league holders, Kilkenny, to follow.

It's expected that both Moore and Tomkins will be available for selection, along with Cloughbawn's Colm Kehoe.

The former county footballer is just weeks away from full recovery, having suffered a further hamstring injury following a long-term absence with hamstring tear in his other leg.

However, his clubmate, Connal Flood, is out for a lengthy spell with a cruciate knee injury.

Rathnure clubman Jack Guiney is in a race against time to be available, as he strives to overcome a knee problem, so his involvement in the opening round of the championship will be watched with interest, and could very well dictate his participation in the provincial campaign as a whole.

Fitzgerald is optimistic regarding the involvement of another long-term injury victim, Liam Og McGovern.

'We will not fully know regarding Liam Og until we return to full training.

'We are hoping that he will be involved in part of the provincial championship at least,' Fitzgerald added.

While Fitzgerald is keeping fingers crossed that players come through the club campaign injury free, he is still looking ahead and preparing for the championship opener with Dublin.

'We will be back training fully on May 1. Leinster is a real minefield but we are looking no further than Dublin and Offaly.

'Dublin will have Liam Rushe and five or six Cuala players back, so they will be a huge challenge. Dublin are confident of achieving a result so it will be a mighty battle in Wexford Park. Then we'll have to travel to Offaly, another huge challenge.

'We will be battling to have points from those games before we take on Galway and Kilkenny. Kilkenny are peaking now and have taken ourselves and Tipp over the last week, so we know the challenge there.

'We have had a very good league campaign, taken some big scalps, and retained our Division 1A status, which was hugely important, and we'll take the postives from the league and build from there,' Fitzgerald said.

Meanwhile, Wexford Senior footballers will almost certainly be without the promising Barry O'Connor for their championship opener with Laois at Wexford Park on May 12.

The St. Martin's clubman received a broken thumb when involved with the Under-20 side in a recent challenge game which looks like ruling him out of contention.

Wexford People