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Saturday 3 December 2016

Donegal talisman Karl Lacey won't make do-or-die clash with Galway

Donegal's Karl Lacey will be the squad's only player ruled out of Saturday night's qualifier against Galway
Donegal's Karl Lacey will be the squad's only player ruled out of Saturday night's qualifier against Galway

DONEGAL must plan without former Footballer of the Year Karl Lacey for this Saturday’s do-or-die clash with Galway in Croke Park.

The four-time All Star suffered knee ligament damage during the first half of their Ulster final defeat to Monaghan, and manager Rory Gallagher is now resigned to being without his services for the round 4B qualifier.

“It’s a huge blow because he had started the Ulster final very well, scoring a point and setting up another, and was in great form,” Gallagher pointed out.

“There is slight damage to the outside of the knee, but we’ve known about it since the day of the (Monaghan) game.

“It requires rehab but no surgery and is similar to the injury Darach O’Connor had a while ago.

“He wouldn’t be out long-term but he is not available for the Galway game, which is all that is important at the moment.”

On a more positive note, the Fermanagh native banished fears about the availability of skipper

Michael Murphy and Paddy McBrearty, who both carried minor knee injuries into the Ulster final.

“People read too much into things,” he insisted.  “Michael had a slight knock and Patrick got a bang in the Ulster semi-final against Derry, but they are both fine and trained with no problems at all at the weekend.”

Meanwhile, the GAA has confirmed arrangements for all of the weekend’s SFC clashes - plus the four minor football quarter-finals.

Dublin’s All-Ireland quarter-final next Sunday remains the main 4pm event on the Croke Park schedule, even though rank outsiders Fermanagh have progressed to meet them there. The last-eight clash between holders Kerry and Kildare will throw in at 2pm.

SATURDAY

SFC Qualifiers Rd 4B: Sligo v Tyrone, Croke Pk 4.0; Donegal v Galway, Croke Pk 6.0 (both live Sky).  MFC quarter-finals: Derry v Longford, Enniskillen 2.0; Cavan v Kildare, Navan 6.30.

SUNDAY

All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals: Kerry v Kildare, Croke Park 2.0; Dublin v Fermanagh, Croke Park 4.0 (both live RTÉ 2).

MONDAY

MFC q-finals: Kerry v Sligo, Tullamore 2.0; Galway v Tipperary, Tullamore 4.0.

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