KILDARE MANAGER JASON Ryan has provided an injury bulletin ahead of next Sunday’s crunch All-Ireland SFC qualifier against Down in Newry – admitting that forward Paddy Brophy is a doubt.
The Celbridge attacker was forced off with a back injury before half-time during the Leinster semi-final defeat to Meath, following a heavy tackle from experienced Royal County defender Kevin Reilly.
Ryan revealed that Brophy has had issues sleeping in recent days but remains confident that his promising 20-year-old star will make the Páirc Esler clash.
Ryan reflected: “It was a very strong hit and Kevin certainly put himself in there to make sure he was going to make an impact on Paddy.
“He’s not great, but he’s progressing.
“He has a back issue. We’d be still hopeful he’d be okay for this weekend.
“He’s done a little bit.”
Ryan confirmed that Brophy is still suffering the effects of a back spasm, adding: “Yeah he’s not good, sleeping-wise for a lot of the week just gone has been difficult and he’s been in a lot of pain.”
There was more promising news to report on Darroch Mulhall and Mick O’Grady, who have yet to feature in Championship 2014.
Mulhall has been out with appendicitis but was due to line out with Athy last night while O’Grady is recovering from a broken cheekbone.
Ryan said: “If they play well in training this week then who knows.
“They are in the running. If I talk to them they’re telling me, ‘I need to play this weekend, pick me, pick me, pick me.”
Peter Kelly is ruled out with a hamstring injury and Fionn Dowling is another absentee after undergoing knee surgery recently.
Meanwhile, Kildare’s senior footballers announced a groundbreaking deal with global nutrition giants Herbalife Ltd last night in Newbridge.
An initial two-year deal will see Herbalife become official nutrition supplier to the team.
This is the first time that Herbalife have confirmed a partnership with an intercounty GAA team, having penned similar deals with the Belgium and Costa Rica international teams that progressed to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Real Madrid and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is a global Herbalife ambassador and the company also supplies its Herbalife24 sports range to Robbie Keane’s LA Galaxy and Welsh rugby outfit Ospreys.