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Friday 21 September 2018

Comeback's Paul on the right track

Flynn return to temper loss of Connolly

IN LIKE FLYNN: Paul Flynn’s comeback will appease fears about the loss of Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
IN LIKE FLYNN: Paul Flynn’s comeback will appease fears about the loss of Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

There was mixed injury news for Jim Gavin to digest as he assembles Dublin's 2018 Championship squad for the first time tonight.

The unexpected return to competitive action of Paul Flynn on Saturday after more than seven months out was tainted somewhat by fresh injuries to Cormac Costello and Eoin Murchan.

Still, Flynn's comeback is a particularly welcome boon for Gavin in the context of the continued and seemingly permanent absence of Diarmuid Connolly from the Dublin squad.

Peak

Flynn, the four-time All Star, played the entirety of Fingallians' 2-17 to 1-9 victory over St. Patrick's, Palmerstown in Rolestown on Saturday, scoring one of his side's goals.

Speaking last November, Flynn revealed how two calf injuries a month apart kept him out of action for ten weeks during the peak football months of summer, consigning his Championship involvement to three appearances off the bench in Dublin's All-Ireland campaign.

By then, Flynn was back at full fitness, stressing in November that he was "mad for action," adding how he intended to feature early and often in Dublin's 2018 League campaign.

Yet the wing-forward, who will be 32 in July, was conspicuous by his absence in the opening rounds of the National League and speaking after Dublin's only defeat of spring - their loss to Monaghan in Croke Park on March 25th - Gavin revealed that he had undergone what his manager described as "a minor procedure," on his back five weeks previously in mid-February.

Gavin also predicted: "We'll see him with Fingallians in the (club) championship, that's for sure."

On Saturday, Gavin's prediction came to pass and yesterday, clearly buoyed by a timely return to action, Flynn Tweeted: "Great to get back on the pitch yesterday after a long lay off! And a big win as well made it even sweeter.. Roll on the summer football calendar."

However, Gavin has been presented with fresh worries over about both Costello and Murchan.

Costello injured his hamstring playing for Whitehall Colmcille against Cuala last Thursday night and could now join Cian O'Sullivan (shoulder), Jack McCaffrey and Bernard Brogan (both cruciates) in missing the Leinster SFC.

Murchan, meanwhile, limped out of Na Fianna's two-point loss to St. Vincent's while Dean Rock sat out Ballymun Kickhams' victory over Clontarf and Paddy Andrews played no part for St. Brigid's against Castleknock on Saturday.

Con O'Callaghan, James McCarthy and Paddy Small all made their respective returns from injury, however.

The Dublin panel are expected to gather tonight for the first time since the League final and Connolly will not be among the group, making it almost certain that Dublin will be without the St. Vincent's man for at least the rest of the year.

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