Monday 24 October 2016

Gavin happy to have Andrews back as Dublin boss eases O'Gara worries

Dublin’s Paddy Andrews. Pic: Sportsfile
Dublin’s Paddy Andrews. Pic: Sportsfile

Dublin will continue to manage Paddy Andrews' back injury this summer, according to Jim Gavin.

Andrews' absence from the team that beat Kerry in the League final and Laois in Dublin's Championship opener with a back injury cast doubt over his availability this summer, though an appearance for St Brigid's against St St Jude's last weekend and a 15 minute stint from the bench in Croke Park on Sunday allayed those fears somewhat.

"We just need to manage it," Gavin explained. "When we put them into battle, they need to be 100 per cent.

"We don't give them any leeway in that regard. They know that as well and if they're not 100 per cent, they don't travel. "He's 100 per cent now so that's why he played. He's been playing a bit of club football as well. It's good to have him back."


Andrews missed parts of the 2013 season after sustaining a hip/groin injury which needed summer that winter, though his current issue is unrelated.

Having firmly established himself as one of Gavin's preferred attacking options, Andrews enjoyed his most productive season to date in 2015 and was unlucky not to receive an All Star.

He started this year's League in similarly impressive form, though Andrews' current injury could still hinder his training schedule.

Gavin said he he was similarly optimistic about the plight of Eoghan O'Gara, despite rumours that a new injury may blight another summer for the Templeogue/Synge Street forward.

O'Gara, 30, made his competitive inter-county return from the cruciate ligament injury he suffered last March in Nowlan Park as a second-half substitute in Dublin's victory over Laois.

But he suffered what Gavin described as "a leg strain," the following week playing for his club.

"He trained during the week but (the match) was probably three days too early for him.

"There is a round of club games next Wednesday night. So hopefully we'll see him back on the park then.

"He was flying it in training, leading into the opening games against Laois.

"You probably saw that in his enthusiasm when he came on to the park.

"He really wanted to do well. He had been playing good club football."


Gavin intimated that the injury could be related to the cruciate which ruled O'Gara out of last summer in its entirety.

"Often," he said, "when players come back after that long lay off, it can be a little bit of a bumpy road.

"So we just need to manage him as best we can. Because he's very enthusiastic."

Gavin also explained than the decision to start Denis Bastick over Michael Darragh Macauley on Sunday was "just a tactical call."

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