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Cooper set for early return to help Kerry in time of crisis

COLM COOPER could cut short his spring sabbatical to try and dig out Kerry out of their current crisis.

The legendary attacker has not resumed county training since Dr Crokes' All-Ireland club semi-final defeat by Ballymun Kickhams, and it was anticipated that he might not play any league football in an attempt to let various niggles heal.

But now Kerry sources have indicated that he could return earlier than expected – if not this week, when just one session is planned, than early next week ahead of their penultimate round derby clash with Cork.

Declan O'Sullivan (calf) is also due back soon but Saturday's must-win meeting with Down may come too early, whereas Paul Galvin could be in the comeback frame along with fit-again Anthony Maher.

On the flip side, manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice is sweating on the fitness of Marc Ó Sé (hip) and Kieran Donaghy, who had to be helped from the field after shipping a knock to his leg against Donegal last Sunday.

LAOIS: Manager Justin McNulty has squarely blamed himself for Laois's recent league slump.

The O'Moore men have taken just one point from their last three games in Division Two – a deflating sequence that followed an impressive opening-night win over the manager's native Armagh.

"I'd have to wonder what it is that I am doing wrong," said McNulty after their latest loss to Westmeath. "The responsibility lies here with me fully. My job is to get the team to play, for the team to perform and execute the basic skills and I wasn't able to achieve that. I have to ask myself why.

"I must be doing something wrong. I must go back and rethink what I am doing.

"I have to bring something different because the team at the moment aren't performing.

"So I have to change my approach some way."

LIMERICK: The Shannonside hurlers will be without skipper Donal O'Grady for the rest of their NHL campaign after the 32-year-old veteran suffered a broken collarbone against Carlow last Sunday.

Surgery is not required and O'Grady is confident that he'll be fit for Limerick's Munster semi-final date with Tipperary on June 9.