Peter Kelly major injury worry for Dubs ahead of replay duel
GIVEN his status as one of Dublin's most important players in a position not bursting its banks with viable alternatives, Peter Kelly's injury in Croke Park yesterday has the potential to be very bad news for Dublin indeed.
Ger Cunningham clarified that his co-captain had - after a couple of untypical lapses of clarity of thought in his first half performance, albeit unpunished ones - suffered a hamstring injury and would be assessed today to ascertain the full scope of the damage.
"Any hamstring is a bad injury," Cunningham said.
"He'd be doubtful (for next Saturday's replay in Tullamore, 4.45)."
Because prior to yesterday morning, Cunningham appeared to have one of the most secure full-backs lines in the game.
Yet just after lunch, all three were missing.
Paul Schutte, named in the team and having conducted some part in Dublin's warm-up, was replaced indirectly by Colm Cronin, though Cunningham sounded an optimistic note about the former's chances of playing next Saturday.
"Paul has an ankle injury, it just happened at training on Friday night," he explained.
"He went over on his ankle but we'd be hoping Paul will be okay for next week."
Cian O'Callaghan also left the fray early and gingerly, though his ailment is not expected to have any medium-term ramifications. For Galway, the injury situation is equally cloudy and not made any clearer by Anthony Cunningham's assertion afterwards that Iarla Tannion had suffered "a touch of concussion," in the 62nd minute clash with Ryan O'Dwyer that saw the Dublin player booked.
Tannian remained on the pitch for another seven minutes before being taken off but Cunningham immediately played down the severity of the blow and proclaimed his centre-back available for the replay.
"Yeah. So quite a … tough blow to the head. The medic will assess that. But he's fine."
Joe Canning, meanwhile, went off with a minute remaining after shooting five wides, included in which were a couple of absolute howlers.
"Ah, it'll be in better shape, that's for sure," explained the Galway boss of Canning's hand injury which required 15 stitches just over two weeks ago.
"But it was quite an nasty hand injury and they take time and they also take time to get used … you have to get back and play a match as well sometimes.
"He hadn't trained, no. Just physical training." On the subject of the choice of venue for the replay, the Galway manager sounded a familiar refrain.
Namely, the fact that Galway have not played a match inside their county border in the six years of their participation in the Leinster championship.
"I'm not going to make an issue of it," he began, before going on to make an issue of it.
"But we need to have a home and away basis in Leinster.
"I suppose we need to be embraced properly into Leinster.
"Galway need Championship hurling in Galway. It's something for the future. It's something I thought might have happened by now."