herald

Friday 2 December 2016

O'Sullivan would be 'huge loss'

Ray Cosgrove and Mark Vaughan
Ray Cosgrove and Mark Vaughan

Ray Cosgrove predicts Cian O'Sullivan is "touch and go," as to whether he plays in next Sunday week's All-Ireland SFC final but says his Kilmacud Crokes colleague will do "everything in his ability" to heal his hamstring in time.

O'Sullivan suffered an injury to his hamstring - a career long affliction - in the final passages of Dublin's All-Ireland semi-final replay win over Mayo last Saturday and Cosgrove revealed that he is currently using the latest in medical technology in an effort to regaining fitness.

"I believe he even has an ice machine up in the house that he can just use, believe it or not," Cosgrove explained.

Trouble

"He's going to be touch and go. I know the medical team will do their utmost but I'd say there'll be a question mark over him.

"He'll do everything in his ability to be right but it depends on how bad the tear was. If it's a proper grade two or three, it's usually a month you'd imagine."

"He's had a lot of trouble with the hamstring over the years," he explained.

"I don't think he was carrying anything in, it was more preventative. He was probably fatiguing in the 70th minute when it's the biggest liability for it to happen.

"I think he even kicked the ball after he pulled up.

"He should have just dropped it, but he even kicked the ball afterwards and probably did even more damage I'd imagine."

With Mick Fitzsimons performing well from reserve in both of the Mayo matches, many have speculated as to his promotion to Jim Gavin's starting defence should O'Sullivan miss out.

A move that could, given his form of late, liberate Philly McMahon into a permanently more advance role in Dublin's half-back line.

Cosgrove is certain, however, that O'Sullivan's loss would be profound.

"I thought even the last day he was immense. The amount of ground he was covering," said the former All Star.

"The question is, who do you bring in?"

Cauldron

"John Small has been excellent, the bit that he's played, but he's a kid going into a cauldron like that.

"It could be a very big ask for him. Then you probably have to shuffle the pack, you could put Mick Fitzsimons in but that has a big impact on the team.

"I think he'd be a huge loss if he wasn't available."

"He's having a brilliant year. He's been so solid and consistent throughout the year. And with his Kerry background it's a game that he'd rise up to. I'd say Jim is doing everything in his capacity to get him right."

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