Monday 18 December 2017

Fitzsimons doubt for Mayo tussle

Gilroy's pool of talent to be tested by further injury woes

ALL-IRELAND champions Dublin could be minus several players for next Saturday night's long trip to Mayo in the wake of their opening Allianz League defeat to Kerry.

Michael Fitzsimons has emerged as a major doubt following the recurrence of a shoulder injury; Eamon Fennell is definitely ruled out following his straight red against the Kingdom; while there are question marks about the readiness of all three Brogans for Castlebar battle.

Corner-back Fitzsimons and wing-forward Paul Brogan were both taken off during the second half of Dublin's six-point defeat to Kerry on Saturday night.


Afterwards, manager Pat Gilroy revealed: "Michael had a problem with that shoulder before Christmas and it just started to flare up in the second half.

"Paul's knee is probably okay, it was just a bang, but Michael's could be a bit more serious."

Gilroy also threw open the possibility that Paul's decorated siblings, Alan and Bernard, will not feature in their second Division One outing at McHale Park, five days from now.

The All Star duo were named among the subs for Dublin's Spring Series opener but stayed in their tracksuits. Both missed the opening, intensive weeks of pre-season January training -- Alan with a knee problem and Bernard because he had yet to return from an extended overseas trip.

Gilroy reckoned they are "two or three weeks" away from full match fitness, adding: "You have to be careful and think of the long road as opposed to rushing guys back."

Dublin's midfield options have also been curtailed following Fennell's red card for a rash elbow on Bryan Sheehan. Under the GAA's new match-ban system that is being trialled during the league, a Category II infraction (such as striking with the elbow) carries a minimum one-game suspension.

Denis Bastick is already definitely sidelined for the Mayo game as he recovers from a number of injury issues, with Gilroy indicating on Saturday night that he should have all his players back for the bumper March schedule with the possible exception of Bastick.

Barry Cahill has also yet to feature this season, as he recovers from niggles sustained during St Brigid's lengthy club run, so that leaves his Russell Park club-mate Seán Murray as the most obvious midfield back-up for Michael Darragh Macauley and Ross McConnell.

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