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Cork's Mark Ellis a major injury doubt for Munster senior hurling final

The Rebels may be forced into a change for the clash against Limerick on July 13th.

Mark Ellis leaves the field injured Mark Ellis limps off during Cork's win over Clare. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

CORK DEFENDER MARK Ellis is facing a race against time to be fit for next month’s Munster senior hurling final after damaging the medial ligament in his knee in last Sunday week’s provincial semi-final against Clare.

Ellis was forced off in the 67th minute of that victory over Clare in Semple Stadium with Eoin Cadogan coming on to replace him.

Initially scans had hinted that Ellis had only sustained slight damage and he would be fit for the Limerick game but the official Cork GAA website has revealed that there are now fears that he will be ruled out of the clash in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on July 13th.

If Ellis is unavailable to Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy, it would appear that the most likely replacement would be Cadogan or William Egan. Both players are comfortable in half-back roles and came on as substitutes in the success against Clare.

Eoin Larkin with William Egan and Eoin Cadogan Eoin Cadogan (left) and William Egan (right) could come into the frame if Ellis is out injured. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Cork may also opt to switch Christopher Joyce into the centre-back position and slot a replacement in at right half-back. The other Cork defenders on the bench against the Banner are both more naturally suited to roles in the full-back line. Conor O’Sullivan was a regular at corner-back last season while Killian Burke is a newcomer to the panel for 2014.

The loss of Ellis would be a blow to Cork. The Millstreet club man has been a huge addition to the Cork side this season after not being part of the squad that reached last September’s All-Ireland final.

He made his senior championship debut recently when starting against Waterford in the drawn Munster quarter-final and has grown in to the centre-back role since then.

Ellis has impressed for Cork this year. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Ellis caught the eye this spring with his performances at the heart of the defence for the Cork IT team who reached the Fitzgibbon Cup final in March before losing to Waterford IT in Belfast.

He won a Munster intermediate hurling medal with Cork in 2009 and lined out with the county’s U21 side that lost an epic Munster final after extra-time against Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds in August 2011. After a couple of seasons on the fringes of the senior panel, Ellis has pinned down a starting berth in 2014.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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