Thursday 18 April 2019

McGuinness hits out at physical impact

JIM McGUINNESS has expressed alarm at the number of concussions suffered by Donegal players this summer – and risked the ire of their Ulster final conquerors, Monaghan, by venting his anger over the injuries suffered by Mark McHugh eight days ago.

Donegal's All Star sat out Saturday's qualifier victory over Laois and looks set to miss next Sunday's quarter-final against Mayo too, having sustained a perforated eardrum, concussion and a thigh injury after a crunching collision with Monaghan's Stephen Gollogly.

He had just got his hand to the ball when caught by a shoulder from the inrushing Gollogly, who also had to depart through injury. Play resumed with a Donegal free, but no other action from referee David Coldrick.

"I am not happy that we have a player with a busted eardrum. I am not happy he had a major concussion. I am not happy that he has a five centimetre – not millimetre – tear in his quad muscle as a result of the impact. I am not happy that he spent two nights in hospital. I am not happy that he has missed a full week off work," the Donegal boss complained.



"For me, we are in a very dangerous position and I would fear that something is going to happen – and my biggest fear is a spinal injury or a neck injury."

McGuinness went on: "We have to create a situation where we feel that it is okay to send players out on the pitch. I will say this: Monaghan were the better team, we lost the final, that is not an issue; and number two, we are not afraid of physicality.

"There is a difference between physicality and busted eardrums, concussions and serious leg injuries. Mark McHugh's injury last week was our fourth concussion in three games – I would imagine that Munster or Leinster rugby wouldn't have that level.

"That is the one thing I do not want to happen. I don't want to preside over it either. It's not worth it."

The other three Donegal players to suffer concussions in Ulster were Declan Walsh (against Tyrone), Ryan Bradley and Frank McGlynn (against Down).

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