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Clare planning without injured trio ahead of start of 2019 Munster campaign

Jamie Shanahan, Ian Galvin and Conor McGrath are all set to be absent.

Ian Galvin celebrates after Clare's win over Tipperary last summer.
Ian Galvin celebrates after Clare's win over Tipperary last summer.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CLARE ARE RESIGNED to being without a trio of leading players due to injury for their 2019 hurling championship campaign.

Joint manager Gerry O’Connor revealed at last night’s Munster championship launch in Waterford that the Banner are planning to operate without the sidelined trio of Jamie Shanahan, Ian Galvin and Conor McGrath.

Clare are preparing to travel to Waterford to face the home side in their opener on 12 May. Shanahan was a defensive regular in the team that reached an All-Ireland semi-final replay last August. Galvin made a series of eye-catching contributions off the bench last summer, most notably in striking a key goal against Tipperary in June, while 2013 All-Star winner McGrath is an experienced forward option.

“Jamie had an operation on his back two weeks ago so he is definitely out. Conor McGrath had a operation on his shoulder after Christmas and he’s definitely (out). Ian Galvin had an injury on his arm a couple of weeks ago so he’s out.

“I wouldn’t say we’ll (have) them this year, definitely not. They are all gone so that’s a significant loss but we probably wouldn’t have got as much game time into Diarmuid Ryan, Aidan McCarthy and Shane Golden if those guys were around.

“That’s the nature of team sport. One guy gets injured and another get the chance to show what he can do.”

O’Connor also praised Shane O’Donnell for the seamless manner in which the attacker has rejoined the Clare setup recently after spending time in Boston studying in Harvard.

“It was probably his first year putting in a decent pre-season. He would have linked up with Kelvin (Harold) our strength and conditioning guy and they would have been in constant contact in terms of the gym program he was expected to follow and he came back in great shape.

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“Shane he’s such an intelligent and completely unique guy that very few people would be able to come back and do what he did and very few people in the first place would have been asked to go and do what he did.

“But from our perspective he has added a great leadership quality to the dressing room. At the same time he came back John Conlon came back from injury too.

“John hurt his calf and ankle against Limerick in the league in Cusack Park and those two guys have tested our corner backs anyway but given us a new dimension in terms of attacking threat that we wouldn’t have seen in the latter stages of the national league.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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