Thursday 17 January 2019

Gilroy's headache as Dublin defender to miss Lilies clash

PAT Gilroy's defensive options are diminishing rapidly after Philly McMahon was ruled out of Dublin's Leinster SFC clash with Kildare in Croke Park on Sunday week.

McMahon damaged medial ligaments in his right knee during Dublin's routine Leinster SFC victory over Laois two Sundays back. He is set to be out for between four and six weeks, keeping him out of the clash with Kildare and, depending on his powers of recovery, a possible Leinster final should Dublin beat the Lilywhites.

The blow comes in the same week that vice-captain Paul Griffin was ruled out for the rest of the season with his own knee problems.

McMahon received treatment to the knee early in the match and re-appeared for the second half sporting heavy bandaging around the affected area. A subsequent scan has revealed ligament damage, however, and McMahon will be forced to rest the knee for at least another month.

His absence will now break up Gilroy's preferred full-back line of McMahon, Rory O'Carroll and Mick Fitzsimons, the three of whom have started every championship match for Dublin since the beginning of last year's Leinster SFC.

Likely replacements include Paul Brogan, who enjoyed significant game time during the League in the full-back line, and Paul Conlon, who has put in strong displays in recent challenge matches.

Gilroy may opt to switch Kevin Nolan to the corner but his Kilmacud Crokes team-mate, Ross O'Carroll, is still some way off full fitness and won't be considered.

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