Cooper rubbishes talk of ankle operation
COLM COOPER has banished fears that he may require surgery on a troublesome ankle problem.
The Kerry captain, currently preparing for Dr Crokes' All-Ireland club semi-final against Crossmaglen next month, was hampered by the problem last summer, and subsequently affected his ability to train with the club.
But Cooper has now insisted: "The ankle is fine. I've had a month to six weeks now without any problems with it. The medical teams have been taking a look at it regularly enough and saw it again last week. They're quite pleased with it. I don't think there's going to be any need to get an operation to sort it out which is good as we've a lot of games coming up."
Meanwhile, Cork boss Conor Counihan has picked four debutants along with 'comeback kid' Colm O'Neill for Sunday's McGrath Cup clash with Clare at Páirc Uí Rinn.
Equally notable is the inclusion at centre-back of Graham Canty, whose involvement in recent spring campaigns has been badly hampered by injury. The All-Ireland winning captain will be making his first non-championship start since April 2010.
O'Neill returns for his first appearance since tearing his cruciate against Galway last March, while there are first inter-county starts for wing-back Aidan O'Reilly, midfielder Micheál Ó Laoire, wing-forward Liam Shorten and full-forward Seanie Cahalane.
Limerick manager Maurice Horan also includes a handful of newcomers for their tie with UCC, with wing-back Eoin Barry, the half-forward line of Darragh Treacy, Mike Quilligan and Phillip Maloney, and full-forward Dinny Ahern all making their inter-county bows. On the McKenna Cup front, Mickey Harte hands senior Tyrone debuts to Conor Clarke, Ronan McNamee, Stephen McNulty and Peter Hughes for their game with Antrim.
CORK (SF v Clare): K O'Halloran; E Cotter, R Carey, K Harrington; C O'Driscoll, G Canty, A O'Reilly; J Fitzpatrick, M Ó Laoire; F Lynch, F Goold, L Shorten; C O'Neill, S Cahalane, K O'Sullivan.
LIMERICK (SF v UCC): B Scanlon; M McCormick, J McCarthy, L O'Dwyer; E Barry, J Riordan, P Ranahan; E Joy, P Kinnerk; D Treacy, M Qulligan, P Maloney; G Collins, D Ahern, D Kelly.
TYRONE (SF v Antrim): J Devine; A McCrory, C Clarke, D Carlin; R McNamee, J McMahon, S McNulty; A Cassidy, C Cavanagh; P Harte, P Hughes, R McNabb; C Gervin, N McKenna, R O'Neill.