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'God I hope so' - Cody not giving up on seeing star player Hogan in action in Leinster

Richie Hogan missed Kilkenny’s entire victorious league campaign.

Richie Hogan hasn't featured for Kilkenny to date in 2018.
Richie Hogan hasn't featured for Kilkenny to date in 2018.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

BRIAN CODY BASKED in the glow of a ninth league title win as Kilkenny manager  yesterday and as the focus shifted towards the championship, thoughts turned to the absent players he may be able to call upon this summer.

Richie Hogan’s last appearance for Kilkenny was in the extra-time loss against Waterford last July.

A back injury has plagued the 2014 Hurler of the Year since then. Kilkenny are preparing for a Leinster championship format with a new format that will entail four games in the five week period starting on 12 May against Dublin.

And Cody hasn’t lost hope that he can call upon the services of the four-time All-Star winner.

“God I hope so, I hope so. I mean, the work he’s putting in is absolute, completely.

“But he has a medical condition at the moment, an issue with his back, and it’s definitely not sorted yet.

“He has everybody working diligently to get it sorted, absolutely, and we just hope that he will be.”

Brian Cody celebrates after his side scored there second goal Brian Cody celebrates Kilkenny's second goal yesterday. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Cody has also been planning without defender Paul Murphy and attacker Colin Fennelly since they went on a peace-keeping mission to South Lebanon last October.

It had been initially hoped they would return in the middle of April but Cody admitting that it may now be just before that provincial opener against Dublin.

“Well, we’re hoping they’ll be back but, I mean, they might be back just very, very shortly before the championship.”

The six-point victory over Tipperary delivered the ninth league title success of Cody’s reign. For him the opening months of 2018 have achieved two key objectives in securing silverware and increasing the array of options available to him in his squad.

“Delighted to have won the league. It was a great game as well. Obviously in the first=-half, Tipperary shaded it a bit but we got a great start to the second-half, Walter got a great goal.

“The most gratifying thing for ourselves is the attitude of the players was top-class, everyone who started, everyone who came in.

“The start of every league, I always say that I would love to win the league and get as much game-time into as many players as possible.

“It has worked out well on both counts because we have seen a lot of players and have a decent depth to our panel.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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