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Munster final boost for Cork as key duo are passed fit

Conor Lehane and Bill Cooper have both been injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s clash with Clare.

Conor Lehane with Austin Gleeson Cork's Conor Lehane under pressure from Austin Gleeson of Waterford. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

CORK SENIOR HURLING manager Kieran Kingston expects to have both Conor Lehane and Bill Cooper available when the Rebels head to Thurles on Sunday for their first Munster final since 2014.

Injury has ruled defender Conor O’Sullivan out for the clash with Clare at Semple Stadium, but Kingston should still be in a position to select the same 15 players that started in his side’s impressive wins over Tipperary and Waterford.

Having contributed a personal tally of 0-14 over the course of those two games, Lehane has been Cork’s stand-out forward in the campaign so far.

However, the 24-year-old Midleton star had been a doubt for Sunday’s final after he was withdrawn towards the end of the semi-final victory over Waterford due to aggravating an ankle injury.

Youghal midfielder Cooper has played in every minute of this year’s championship for Cork so far, but the 29-year-old has been carrying a hamstring injury in advance of Sunday’s meeting with Clare.

Bill Cooper with Maurice Shanahan Cork's Bill Cooper being purued by Waterford's Maurice Shanahan. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Rebels boss Kingston delivered a positive update on Lehane and Cooper last night, but O’Sullivan — who has yet to feature in the championship in 2017 — is set to miss out. The 28-year-old Sarsfields defender has sustained a hamstring injury.

“Conor Lehane and Bill will be okay,” Kingston said. “We’re happy enough that they’ll be okay. Conor O’Sullivan is out. Conor [Lehane] and Bill will be available for selection.”

The Cork team for Sunday’s Munster final is expected to be named on Friday evening.

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Paul Dollery

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