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'We’ll welcome him back with open arms. We can’t wait to get Noel back.'

Tipperary are continuing to plan without Noel McGrath after he underwent surgery for testicular cancer.

Noel McGrath pictured in action in this year's league quarter-final against Offaly.
Noel McGrath pictured in action in this year's league quarter-final against Offaly.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

TIPPERARY ARE CONTINUING to plan without Noel McGrath ahead of the start of their Munster championship campaign after the two-time Allstar winner underwent surgery for testicular cancer last month.

It was announced last month by the Tipperary county board that McGrath was set to receive treatment.

Tipperary hurling selector Michael Ryan last night revealed that he does not know when McGrath will return with the Loughmore-Castleiney club man set to be welcomed back ‘with open arms’.

“I’m not at liberty to be talking about Noel, to be honest,” stated Ryan.

“Obviously, we’ll welcome him back as soon as he can get back to us, but I’m not at liberty to speak and I’m not up to speed either, as it’s a very personal matter.

“We’re planning without him for the moment but we’ll welcome him back with open arms. We can’t wait to get Noel back.”

Tipperary will make their championship bow against either Clare or Limerick in a Munster semi-final tie on 21 June.

Cathal Barrett, James Barry and Kieran Bergin all missed last month’s league semi-final loss against Waterford but Ryan is confident that all their players can recuperate.

“We’ve a couple of knocks but, thankfully, any of the heavier injuries we have are healing at this moment in time.

“There’s a particularly strong level of competition this year and long may that last. That’s going to ask some very difficult questions of guys that had jerseys last year but it’s the way of the world.

“Without that level of competition, you get complacency and that’s exactly what you don’t want.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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