Bryan Keane/INPHO Tipperary's John O'Dwyer.
# Update
Optimism grows that Bubbles O'Dwyer could return for championship
John O”Dwyer received good news on his knee injury last week.

ON THE DAY that Tipperary received the devastating news that Padraic Maher has been forced to retirement from hurling, there was a more positive update on John O’Dwyer’s knee injury. 

The injury that saw Bubbles left out of the Tipperary hurling squad for the National League isn’t as bad as first feared, manager Colm Bonnar has revealed.

O’Dwyer, 30, was a surprise omission from Bonnar’s 34-man panel before transpired that it was down to a knee problem.

Speaking last week Bonnar didn’t rule out the prospect of O’Dwyer returning at some point if the problem cleared up. Now it appears the Killenaule forward player could return to the field later this month and he may feature in the championship.

“He got his second scan on it last week and went to the surgeon,” said the Tipperary manager. “The news is a bit more positive. He has a small operation to go to release the fluid in the knee and bit more rehab work on it.

“We’re hoping maybe in the next two or three weeks he’s going to be able to get back onto the field and start doing the conditioning that’s needed to build the fitness you need to play at the highest level.

“Maybe the league might be a bit soon for him but we’re hoping that if everything goes well for him he’ll be part of our panel,” continued Bonnar.

“He’s working with John Casey and Tom Hargroves, the S&C. John has him on a modified programme at the moment but once the next procedure is done if he has a bit of relief from that and he can start putting more pressure on the knee then we’d love to see him inside.

“I talked to him three or four times last week and I’m looking forward to him getting back if things go well for him. Just as I was looking forward to Padraic going back but unfortunately it was out of his hands.

“I just hope ‘Bubbles’ can make that decision himself,” he added.

Tipperary open their Munster round robin campaign against Waterford on Sunday, 17 April.  

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