A knee injury is likely to keep Colm O’Neill out of Cork’s Munster SFC final against Kerry on Saturday week, with Seán Powter also in danger of missing out.
O’Neill hobbled out of Cork’s Munster semi-final victory over Tipperary on May 26, the inside forward undergoing surgery for a cartilage issue in his knee four days later.
Cork manager Ronan McCarthy says it will be “very tight” as to whether the 29-year-old is fit and ready to see action at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on June 23.
“Colm had the op on the Wednesday after the Tipp game so look, even though it’s regarded as a minor procedure, it is an invasive procedure,” said McCarthy.
“He’s back running and is making every effort to get back. It’ll be three-and-a-half weeks from the op to the game, which is very tight.
“We’ll give him every opportunity and he’s made an incredible effort already, a real determination by him to get back.”
Powter, who has been sidelined since tearing his hamstring early in the second half of the county’s league defeat to Tipperary on January 27, suffered a minor setback during a recent challenge match against Roscommon which throws his Munster final involvement into doubt.
“Sean’s setback was nothing as serious as previously but it just breaks his run of training as he had been back full training. That’s one that we’ll just have to monitor but he’ll be tight to make the game,” said McCarthy.
“From Sean’s point of view, the frustrating part of it is he was out for however long it was, three months, as was planned. You then think that you’re going to have a fairly clear run of things. Again, [the setback has] been nothing major but any little minor thing like that puts you back a week or two.”
Donncha O’Connor also missed Cork’s championship opener because of a hamstring injury and is another doubt for Kerry’s visit. “He’s got a niggling hamstring and getting little pulls and so on, but nothing major. He’s trying to make it, but what you do there is you assume they’re not going to make it and if they do, it’s a bonus,” said McCarthy.
“Brian O’Driscoll, who had a hamstring problem, is all fine. He played against Roscommon and played a bit at the weekend with the club just to get some minutes under his belt. He’s fully training so he should be back in action.”