Wednesday 23 January 2019

Rushe latest injury doubt for Gilroy

STRAIN: Liam Rushe at Parnell Park on Sunday. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
STRAIN: Liam Rushe at Parnell Park on Sunday. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Liam Rushe is Pat Gilroy's latest injury worry ahead of next Sunday's crucial Division 1B clash with Laois in O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.

A win would send Dublin into a League quarter-final despite a disappointing campaign and would see them avoid a relegation play-off to Division 2A against Antrim.

Rushe, who has come on as a second-half substitute in each of Dublin's last three games, replaced Ryan O'Dwyer at full-forward after 42 minutes of last Sunday's six-point defeat to Galway in Parnell Park.

He won a penalty with his first touch but Paul Ryan was later sent in as the two-time All Star came off in some visible discomfort after 68 minutes.

"He had a strain on Thursday that just happened, like a spasm, in training," Gilroy explained. "We thought it was OK but it came back at him there."

Rushe has played with a lingering groin issue for most of the past two seasons but Gilroy clarified: "It's different to the injury that he had before Christmas.

"But we just have to get to the bottom of it this week," he added. "It's in his rib cage. It seems like it's a muscular thing.

"He seemed to be OK before the game but we need to get it fully checked out now."

Gilroy also confirmed the exit of Niall McMorrow from the Dublin squad.

He didn't disclose the specific reasons but the Ballboden player decided to leave just days after Dublin's loss to Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds, a match in which he was subbed at half-time.


"Niall stepped away from it during the week. It's disappointing," he explained. "But he had his reasons for doing it and we respect that."

In McMorrow's absence - and those of a quartet of DCU players who lined out in the college's Fitzgibbon Cup defeat to UL in Mallow the previous day - Ronan Hayes and Paul Crummey both made their League debuts against the All-Ireland champions, while Ryan O'Dwyer made his first appearance under Gilroy.

"Ryan put in a lot of work," Gilroy stated.

"His touch is not quite there. His effort - again - he worked very hard and didn't let their backs get easy balls into our back line."

Unlike fellow DCU men Donal Burke, Feargal Whitely, Rian McBride and Darragh Grey, Eoghan O'Donnell did line out for Dublin on Sunday and played the entire game.

O'Donnell, according to the manager "was very comfortable. So we were happy just to bring him along."

Regardless of Sunday's result - where a Laois win or even a draw would consign Dublin to a relegation play-off - Dublin will play at least two more matches before beginning their preparations for the Leinster SHC, at which point Gilroy explained he would cut the number of players from his current figure of 39 and bring in some others.

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