Kellys out for Cats clash as Tipp injury woes mount

By Cliona Foley

Tuesday April 28 2009

FIVE-TIME Tipperary All Star Eoin Kelly will play no part in Sunday’s NHL Division 1 final against Kilkenny, despite the fact that he was named on the bench for the last round of the League.

Kelly has been rested all winter to allow him to recover from a long-running back injury, but was listed among Tipperary’s substitutes for their final group game against Limerick.

When he did not tog out for that game, there was speculation that he had exacerbated the problem and he did not line out for his club Mullinahone in a divisional championship match last weekend.

But Tipperary PRO Gerard Ryan insisted yesterday that Kelly has not had any injury setback and is merely being rested this weekend as a pre-championship precaution ahead of Tipperary’s Munster SHC clash with Cork on May 31.

Eoin’s brother Paul is also definitely unavailable with the hamstring injury he picked up against Kilkenny and manager Liam Sheedy has fitness doubts over centre-back Conor O’Mahony, Paul Curran, Shane Maher and Gearoid Ryan.

O’Mahony was laid low recently by the particularly virulent strain of mumps that has already kept Kilkenny star James ‘Cha’ Fitzpatrick out of action for a long time this year.

But some good news for the Cats ahead of Sunday’s decider is that Fitzpatrick and fellow All Star Noel Hickey both lined out for their clubs — Ballyhale Shamrocks and Dunamaggin respectively — last weekend.

Hickey had groin surgery this winter and it is doubtful that he will start, but Fitzpatrick is tipped to line out after coming off the bench in Kilkenny’s victory over Dublin.

Defender John Dalton also lined out for his club (Carrickshock) last weekend but Kilkenny will definitely be without Richie Power (hamstring) and Derek Lyng (hip).

Both Offaly and Wexford have injury worries ahead of their Division 2 final curtain-raiser in Thurles.

Wexford full-back Keith Rossiter played for his club last weekend after a groin injury but whether they will risk him remains to be seen. His club-mate Darren Stamp is nursing a thigh muscle injury and Ciaran Kenny
(groin) is another who has manager Colm Bonnar sweating, after already losing midfielders Eoin Quigley and Colm Farrell to long-term injuries.

But Offaly also still have serious doubts about defenders David Franks
(hip) and David Kenny (hamstring) who did not take part in an internal training game on Sunday.

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