Dublin star in fitness battle after suffering ‘small’ hamstring tear
DUBLIN DEFENDER EOGHAN O’Donnell is facing a race against time to recover from a hamstring injury ahead of their All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final against the Joe McDonagh Cup champions.
O’Donnell was forced off just 15 minutes into their Leinster round-robin victory over Galway, a result that saw the Tribesmen dumped out of the championship and sealed a third place finish in the province for Dublin.
On 6/7 July, Dublin face the winners of this weekend’s second-tier decider between Laois and Westmeath.
Mattie Kenny will be hopeful that O’Donnell – now regarded as one of the best full-backs in the country – can prove his fitness before that clash.
The defender has yet to return to training with the group and admits he’s unsure if he’ll return in time for the weekend after next.
“I pulled my hamstring, I have a small little tear on it from the Galway game,” said O’Donnell at the launch of the AIG Cups & Shields in GUI Headquarters, Carton House.
“No word yet, I’m taking it week by week. I still have a week and a half to get back. I’m going to the physios. Nothing is ruled out anyway.
Dublin defender O’Donnell at AIG Insurance’s GUI & ILGU Cups & Shields launch.
Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE
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“I’m not team training. I’m doing my bit with physios and strength and conditioning coaches, but not team training.
“I had a little niggle going into the game. But it never crossed my mind that it would become a concern, so I was obviously devastated once it happened.
“It just showed the strength in depth that we had that we could change it up and still come through with the result.”
With Cian O’Callaghan also absent through injury, Shane Barrett reverted to full-back and held firm as Dublin kept their first clean sheet of the summer.
“We’ve Cian O’Callaghan out injured and we’d Shane Barrett who went fullback. James Madden came on and played a super game, so that’s given us massive confidence going forward as well.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who’s on the pitch and the job gets done. That’s the most important thing.”
Kenny is operating with a sizeable injury list at the moment. In addition to O’Donnell and O’Callaghan, Fionntán Mac Gib, John Hetherton, Paul Ryan, Mark Schutte and David Treacy all missed the Galway game through injury.
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