Injury woe for Kildare
Feely, Flynn, Cribbin all out of Westmeath semi
Kildare have - in the words of Cian O'Neill - have endured "three pretty major blows" ahead of Sunday week's Leinster SFC semi-final with Westmeath.
Kevin Feely, Daniel Flynn and Paul Cribbin are all out, though there was better news on attacking talisman Niall Kelly, who should be available.
Feely, one of the stars of their Division 3 promotion, suffered a shoulder injury in the tense victory over Wexford in the quarter-final.
"He's back mobile. But he wouldn't be able to take contact. So he's a loss," O'Neill confirmed.
"In many ways, he was lucky because (the separation) was so clean. So healing-wise, another week will see him (back) but he's not going to make it."
Cribbin's injury is more serious, however.
Having undergone minor surgery on a problem on the patellar tendon in his left knee early in the year, he is now out indefinitely, with O'Neill admitting: "We don't know when we'll see him again, to be honest."
Unlike the other two, Flynn missed the Wexford match with a hamstring injury, though it has since flared up again.
"It recovered and then he had a bit of a setback," the Kildare manager revealed.
"So he's out as well. So three pretty major blows for us in terms of our squad."
Kelly also missed the Wexford win with a calf injury, though the Athy attacker underwent his first full football session last night and is expected to be available in some capacity for Sunday week.
Reflecting on Kildare's shaky 0-9 to 0-8 win over Wexford at Croke Park on his first Championship night as Kildare manager, O'Neill said his team had been afflicted by "this gripping kind of fear of making a mistake or fear of failure."
He added: "It spreads then all over the field and it was very hard to unlock it.
"The irony is that the more you do that the more you invite the opposition on, and this is a team you feel you should be pushing against. It was just hard to break that."