herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Rory O'Carroll targets May opener for his return

Rory O'Carroll, left, and Jack McCaffrey
Rory O'Carroll, left, and Jack McCaffrey

RORY O'CARROLL hopes to resume training next week as he battles the hamstring injury that forced his Allianz League final exit against Cork.

That would leave the Dublin No 3 with a ten-day window before their Leinster SFC quarter-final against either Offaly or Longford on May 31.

The Faithful County host Longford in O'Connor Park, Tullamore this Saturday evening (7.0).

"I'm still not back fully. I tore my hamstring against Cork so I've been out for two-and-a-bit weeks. Another week or so to go. Don't want to come back too early," he revealed.

Asked if his first round availability was in doubt, O'Carroll replied: "It's still only ten days before championship which isn't ideal, because I want to give myself the best chance of being selected.

"Long term I want to get my hamstrings right rather than rushing it."

The Kilmacud Crokes man had never previously suffered any hamstring trouble until the Dublin club championship last October.

His latest mishap saw him sit out Kilmacud's opening foray in this year's county championship, an eight-point win over Whitehall last week.

A club dual ace, he has also missed out on two Dublin SHC 'A' Group 4 victories for the reigning county champions.

"I immediately flagged to come off (against Cork)," he recounted. "It's a bit frustrating as I injured my left one against Monaghan and my right one against Cork."

On a different mater O'Carroll declined to comment on the fact that fellow Dublin defender Ger Brennan has publicly backed a 'No' vote in the upcoming marriage referendum while he has campaigned for the 'Yes' side.

"Today I would prefer to talk about the GAA, because it is an AIG event promoting Gaelic games. Outside of this event I am more than happy to talk about it," he said.

OFFALY boss Pat Flanagan has kept faith with the starting team that blitzed Longford in the NFL Division Four final as the Faithful prepare to renew battle with Jack Sheedy's men in tomorrow night's Leinster SFC opener in Tullamore.

OFFALY (SF v Longford): A Mulhall; B Darby, P McConway, D Brady; N Darby, J Moloney, J O'Connor; G Guilfoyle, N Smith; E Carroll, N McNamee, A Sullivan; B Allen, N Dunne, W Mulhall.

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