Macauley to miss rest of year with thumb injury
MICHAEL Darragh Macauley will miss Saturday's Dublin SFC semi-final clash with St Vincent's and a potential county final should Ballyboden St Enda's succeed in dethroning the reigning Dublin, Leinster and All-Ireland champions.
Indeed, last season's Footballer of the Year is not expected to play again until the new year after undergoing surgery on a broken thumb suffered during 'Boden's 3-15 to 0-8 win over Ballinteer St John's in the second round of the competition.
The powerful midfielder was injured just prior to half-time in that match, having sustained a blow to the thumb on his right hand.
Subsequently, he underwent an operation where a wire was inserted to the digit in order to aid full recovery.
According to Ballyboden senior manager, Andy McEntee, Macauley's injury was "more complicated than a simple fracture".
"Michael is invaluable to Dublin," added the former Meath minor boss.
"So you can imagine how valuable he is to us."
Nevertheless, McEntee explained that Macauley has remained an important, albeit non-playing, member of the squad as they prepare to take on a Vincent's team seeking to put successive county titles together for the first time since the three-in-a-row side of 1975 to '77.
"He's been excellent. He's been around. He's been very encouraging for everybody so I'd have no complaints on that front," he praised.
Encouragingly, given Macauley's considerable absence, 'Boden still managed to beat a flinty Lucan side by all of five points (0-14 to 0-9) in their quarter-final in O'Toole Park two Sundays back to maintain their ambitions of a first senior county title since 2009.
"They knuckled down," insisted McEntee.
"The game against Lucan, we considered that a real danger.
"They're very well organised and they're hard to break down.
"When somebody is out, other lads usually put their hands up and that's what happened," he concluded.