Keaney injury fears ease but he's still a doubt for Clare clash
CONAL KEANEY is a major doubt for Dublin ahead of their All-Ireland SHC qualifier with Clare on July 7, although it has transpired that the injury he suffered in last Saturday's heavy loss to Kilkenny is not connected to the cruciate and lateral ligament injuries which ruined his summer in 2011.
Keaney was an early cry-off in the Portlaoise humbling via a blow to his leg, and initial fears were that he had succumbed to a repeat of the dreaded cruciate injury.
"It's not as bad as we thought, thank God," explained Dubs boss, Anthony Daly. "It's not cruciate-related anyway. It's a tendon at the back of his knee that he shifted off the bone. He's in a bit of a race against time but he might have a chance.
"It's too early to tell. He was there in his clothes last night. We're hopeful that he might be able to tog out anyway. We won't know really until next week."
Daly added: "If he can't train next Tuesday night, then it will be highly unlikely that he will be able to play.
"If we had an extra week he'd be fine but we don't."
Dublin actually finished the match with 14 men after using all five of their allotted substitutes well before the final minutes, during which centre-back Joey Boland incurred a bad bang to his hip.
The Na Fianna man did take a restricted part in last Tuesday's training session, however, and Daly expects him to be fit to face the Banner.
"Joey is not too bad," he revealed. "He was able to have a few pucks the other night even though he didn't play in the game. He was able to take some part in training.
"It was a sore hip from a challenge but he's fine."
The only other niggle arising from the Kilkenny match was that of Ryan O'Dwyer, who appeared to be limping in the final throes after picking up a knock to his hip.
The injury, Daly explained, was not serious, but O'Dwyer did contract a virus after the match and may not train with the squad before the weekend but, like Boland, is set to be fine for the next round.
"We'll just have to see how bad it is before the weekend but a virus shouldn't keep you out for two weeks," he stressed.
"It was more bruising at the time. That was the gist of it. Conal is the big worry. There is nothing else."