©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Donegal expect Murphy to miss Ulster opener

Donegal’s captain will not recover from a knee injury in time to face Cavan on 20 May.

DONEGAL CAPTAIN MICHAEL MURPHY looks set to lose his race to be fit for the opening round of the Ulster Championship.

Jim McGuinness’s men begin the defence of their provincial title against Cavan on 20 May but will be without the Glenswilly forward, assistant manager Rory Gallagher revealed yesterday.

Murphy damaged his collateral knee ligament in Donegal’s National Football League defeat to Dublin last month and, although he did not  require surgery as initially feared, is in the process of a lengthy rehab programme.

“It’s going to come too soon for him,” Gallagher told the Irish News when asked if Murphy would be fit it time to face Cavan. “That’s not a story I’m throwing out – he won’t make it in time.

“With Michael, it’s a slow process and he is just following his rehab programme. We won’t rush him at all. Everyone knows how good he is and how important he is to us, so we certainly won’t be bringing him back quickly than we should.”

If Donegal beat Cavan, Murphy is now likely to make his comeback in the Ulster quarter-final against Derry in June.

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