O'Carroll big concern for Dubs before Cats clash
ROSS O'CARROLL is Dublin hurlers' primary injury concern ahead of their trip to Nowlan Park to take on Kilkenny in Sunday's Allianz League Division 1 duel (2.0).
The Kilmacud Crokes man was substituted after just 15 minutes of last week's 12-point victory over Tipperary in Parnell Park, succumbing to injury. He was replaced at wing-forward by clubmate Ryan O'Dwyer, who was subsequently subbed himself late in the match after picking up a yellow card.
Colm Cronin and Cian O'Callaghan - who captained the team last week - both came through UCD's Fitzgibbon Cup loss to UL on Wednesday unscathed and are thus expected to take their spots in the Dublin team at corner-back and midfield respectively.
O'Carroll (inset, right) has missed large chunks of action of his inter-county career due a sciatic nerve problem in his lower back that causes hamstring and other leg muscle pain though it is unclear as yet whether his latest problem is related. The eldest of the O'Carroll brothers, Ross was one of Dublin hurling's most prominent forwards before switching allegiances to Pat Gilroy's football panel in 2010.
However, his inter-county football career was limited to a single League start against Monaghan in Clones and whilst he returned to Anthony Daly's panel for the start of the 2012 season and played in that summer's All-Ireland SHC Championship, he withdrew last year due to injury.
O'Carroll went on to star in Crokes' Dublin senior hurling championship success last year and thus returned to the panel.
Ger Cunningham is not expected to announce his team to face Kilkenny until after training tonight and if O'Carroll is sidelined, O'Dwyer would look the most ready-made replacement, although Cian Boland - who, in turn, came on for O'Dwyer - scored a point and finished the match strongly on his competitive inter-county league debut.
David 'Dotsy' O'Callaghan is another player who could be in the selection shakeup as an indirect replacement.
Cuala's David Treacy - who performed very impressively in the Walsh Cup - played no part against Tipperary but could come into contention were Cunningham of a mind to test out his attacking options.
Brian Cody, meanwhile, will have to make at least one change to the team that beat Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn after Conor Fogarty suffered a broken ankle in the first half of Kilkenny's two-point win.
Geoff Brennan, who made his debut as a first half sub after Fogarty's enforced withdrawal, should make his first senior start in a Kilkenny jersey.