Brady’s back to take on Canning
Daly says Dubs’ lynchpin full-back will mark Galway’s talisman
DUBLIN'S full-back lynchpin Tomás Brady will be fit to start Saturday's Leinster SHC semi-final with Galway in Tullamore (7.0), but his Na Fianna colleague Joey Boland looks certain to miss out.
The influential defensive pair missed Dublin's maiden championship victory over Offaly two Sundays back and while Brady's medial knee ligament injury is now almost fully healed, Boland's shoulder is still some way short of optimum health.
Dublin boss Anthony Daly revealed that Brady is a “nailed-on” certainty to line out at full-back but conceded that Saturday's first ever Leinster championship clash with the Tribesmen will “probably come a few days too soon” for Boland.
“Tomás looks nailed-on, bar something going wrong between now and then,” the Clareman told the Herald. “He took a full part in training on Saturday. We're very hopeful that he will be able to play.
“He played 20 minutes of a practice game in training and he came through it okay. He wasn't even sore after it. It looks good but we have to build it up.
“He was anxious and we were anxious that he play a bit of the game on Saturday and he did. He came through it grand. He will do a bit on Tuesday night. We'll play a bit of a game and he will play so that should build a bit of confidence.”
Brady has been out since damaging his knee in club training following Dublin's League final victory over Kilkenny.
The Na Fianna man was in inspirational form all throughout the spring but Daly is confident the injury has not affected his touch.
“He was constantly pucking,” explained Daly. “But when you're not pucking at speed, it is a worry. In fairness, all last week he was able to get a lot of the ball work done. There's nothing wrong with his hurling.”
In Brady's absence, Dublin struggled to contain Offaly sharpshooter Shane Dooley in the quarter-final and on Saturday Galway will bring a glittering attack to O'Connor Park.
And Daly is predicting that Brady will come head-to-head with Galway's talisman, Joe Canning.
“Tomás is a big, strong guy,” he said. “The likelihood is that (Joe) Canning would be full-forward for them. He looks the ideal man to go in and mark him. He would have no issues there strength-wise. He's very, very fit.
“The work over the last while in the gym has really paid off for him. Running-wise, he's extremely fit.
“We would be hopeful that he could go in there and do a job for us.”
Daly is, however, resigned to being without Boland for a second successive championship match – though he hasn't completely ruled out the possibility of his first choice centre-back playing some part.
“Joey, it's looking against him playing at this stage,” he added.
“It's still tender. You're going to get tested on the shoulder in a championship match of that intensity. It's unlikely that he will start anyway.
“Every day he is getting better. The treatment is intense. It's twice a day some days. He's a physio himself so he's at it himself and he's really progressing rapidly. But it's unlikely that he will play at this stage.
“If he had the extra week, he would have had a great chance. But it's just a few days too soon.”
Elsewhere on the injury front, David Treacy continues his comeback from the cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out of the early part of the year and is slowly approaching full match fitness. “He's coming on now. He has two great weeks training behind him now since the Offaly game,” said Daly.
St Pat's attacker Shane Stapleton has also returned to training after his own cruciate ligament injury but Daly insisted that he “was not an option in the short term”.
There is, however, further bad news for Niall McMorrow. The Ballyboden man missed the recent U21 victory over Carlow after discovering another problem with his ankle and is set to sit out at least another month.