Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
INPHO/Cathal Noonan Mayo's Lee Keegan after suffering a compound fracture to his index finger during the All-Ireland semi-final.
# Fit and Ready
Boyle and Keegan back on track as Mayo gear up for final battle
Manager James Horan is confident that the Connacht champions defensive duo Colm Boyle and Lee Keegan will be in contention to start in Sunday week’s All-Ireland final.

MAYO ACHIEVED THEIR All-Ireland semi-final success against Dublin despite suffering a streak of injury setbacks during the game but, captain Andy Moran aside, look poised to have a full squad to pick from for their September date with destiny against Donegal.

The chief concerns are wing-backs Colm Boyle, affected by a virus, and Lee Keegan, hampered by a nasty finger injury sustained against Dublin, yet Horan revealed positive news about their progress at the county’s press briefing in the Breaffy House Hotel last night.

“We’ve a couple of guys still on rehab programmes but they are progressing and I’d be pretty confident that in the next couple of days, they’ll be raring to go.

“Colm Boyle is progressing very well and was training with us Tuesday night. He was sick before the last game and got some medical attention but he’s back up and running now.

“Lee’s finger is still a little bit sore but he is running at full tilt. It’s just a matter of time before he’s back fully but he is on track. It was a dislocation and the bone came through the finger. It was a sore event but no bother to Lee.”

The series of injuries that Mayo incurred during the Dublin game lead to a catalogue of substitutions and there was speculation after the game that they may have broken the rules. Yet despite suggestions Dublin were going to mount an appeal, Horan was adamant that he never feared they would end up having to give up their All-Ireland final place.

“We were extremely confident (of not losing the game). We’re extremely lucky in Mayo to have a county board member (Kevin O’Toole, Secretary) who sits with us on the sideline and he knows the rules inside out and knows the way things were. We’re lucky to have Kevin O’Toole there with us.

“I would certainly rather have been able to leave the three players that got injured on the field – that would have been my first preference. But it worked out for us.

“The rules are the rules as they are so that’s the way we played them. Every rule in the GAA could be looked at. I’d like to see the tackle defined and work from there, but of course everything should be looked at on an ongoing basis.”

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Horan also insists that Mayo will be undergoing their normal routine in preparation for the final.

“We’re just going to do our normal stuff, train at our normal times and normal places and prepare as well as we can and that’s exactly what we’re going to do and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.

“There have been people in at our training and we have an open day on Friday, from half-six to half-seven and everyone is more than welcome to that.”

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