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Good news for Galway with attacker Cooney back fit for All-Ireland after injury hell

Conor Cooney has been struck down with injuries this year.

Conor Cooney in action for Galway against Kilkenny in Tullamore last June.
Conor Cooney in action for Galway against Kilkenny in Tullamore last June.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

GALWAY ATTACKER CONOR Cooney is back in the frame for selection for the All-Ireland hurling final after a 2015 campaign that has been plagued by injuries.

Manager Anthony Cunningham confirmed last night that the Tribesmen have a full squad to pick from ahead of the clash with Kilkenny on 6 September.

And Cooney, who hasn’t featured in this summer’s championship, is back in the frame.

The sides last lashed in the 2012 All-Ireland final and Cooney was a key forward for Galway in that campaign. He went on to win an AIB All-Ireland senior club medal the following spring with St Thomas.

In last summer’s Leinster championship, Cooney scored a total of 2-19 in Galway’s two games in Tullamore against Kilkenny.

“Conor is back training with us and playing with us,” outlined Cunningham.

“He’s probably short on game time. But he’s doing well in training. He had a very tough year. He had a metatarsal break in January in a training camp.

“And it refractured after he came back. He had to get a pin in it the second time. Then he had some other injuries because he was out and it affected his leg and hip as well.

“It took a huge amount of rehab to get it back and (he) was down in the dumps really because it was so difficult to see everyone else playing and see all the matches going on.

“But he’s delighted to be back now. Conor was our Player of the Year last year, really.

“For that to happen to him was difficult. But it’s good that he’s back now.”

Anthony Cunningham Galway boss Anthony Cunningham Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Defender John Hanbury suffered a knock to his leg against Tipperary but has got the green light to play.

“(He had) a slight strain in the calf after the last day.

“He did some light running last night and he will take a full part on Thursday and Sunday.

“We have no real injury worries, thank God. It’s probably the first time this year. We’ve had quite a good run there with injuries the last while.

“We have been free really. And we came out of the last game quite well. It was an intense game so we’re lucky with that.

Four members of Galway’s 26-man panel against Tipperary – Jason Flynn, Cathal Mannion, Conor Whelan and Paul Killeen – were in action in last weekend’s All-Ireland U21 semi-final loss to Limerick.

Jason Flynn is fouled by Michael Casey to win a penalty Jason Flynn in action for Galway against Limerick in last Saturday's All-Ireland U21 semi-final. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“They’re fine, they’re disappointed, obviously,” said Cunningham.

“Everyone’s disappointed. We all thought they had a team capable of going much further and they just didn’t.

“We trained since. It’s also good to get a reality check after a big win.

“After a big win, it’s good to be back in training and back in reality.”

Originally published 00.05

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Fintan O'Toole

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