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Dublin: 4°C Thursday 13 May 2021

Mayo could miss their star forward for Connacht opener

Noel Connelly believes it is too early to know whether Cillian O’Connor will be available for the Connacht SFC semi-final.

O'Connor isn't expect to be back full training for another three weeks.
O'Connor isn't expect to be back full training for another three weeks.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

ALL-STAR CILLIAN O’Connor faces a race against time to be fit for the Connacht semi-final against Galway or Leitrim in 14 June.

The former Young Player of the Year is battling with a knee operation and joint manager Noel Connelly says it will be touch and go whether the star attacker is free to help them commence the defence of their Connacht crown.

“He probably won’t be back to full training for about another three weeks. So we would be hoping that he will maybe take some part on 14 June, hopefully all of it, but at this stage it’s too soon to call,” said Connelly.

Evan Regan, who suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury, is the only player ruled out of the Connacht semi-final at this stage.

But Connelly said there are plenty of other players on the doubtful list with brothers Aidan and Seamus O’Shea, Chris Barrett, Tom Cunniffe and Michael Conroy, all nursing injuries but he is hopeful they will be fit when the championship starts next month for the holders.

Connelly, who took over along with Pat Holmes this year after James Horan had led the county to a Connacht title in each of his four years in charge, said that they expect tough opposition in the province this summer.

Galway have won two All-Ireland U-21s in the last couple of years. Roscommon have won the previous two Connachts and were unlucky this year in the All-Ireland.

“What they have done is generated a lot of good forwards in Roscommon and both teams will be there or thereabouts in winning a Connacht championship this year but it is all to play for,” added Connelly.

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John Fallon

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