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Bound for Harvard in September but set to return to play for Clare hurlers in 2019 season

Shane O’Donnell has been awarded a scholarship for the Boston university.

SHANE O’DONNELL MAY be set to embark on a new stage of his education at Harvard University later this year but the move to Boston does not spell the end of his inter-county career.

David Reidy Clare fans could still see Shane O'Donnell in action next year for the Banner. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

It was revealed in March that O’Donnell has been awarded a prestigious year-long Fulbright Scholarship to Harvard in the US, starting in September.

The 2013 All-Ireland winning hat-trick hero was initially a Genetics student in UCC but can be an option for the Clare squad in their 2019 campaign as he will return in March.

“It leaves him looking forward to a fabulous winter in Boston,” said Clare joint manager Gerry O’Connor.

Gerry O'Connor Clare joint hurling manager Gerry O'Connor. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“Shane is one of these incredibly talented guys, academically, physically, mentally. But he doesn’t kick off in Boston in September and he’ll be back again in March.

“To be fair, he kept us in the loop through the whole process. He was as surprised as anybody but Shane is one of these laid-back guys that just gets on with things like that.

“He’ll take it all in his stride. He’ll probably come back more refreshed than any player after spending the winter in Boston.”

O’Connor does not feel the Éire Óg club man will have a problem getting back up to speed for next year’s championship.

“Absolutely. Cian Dillon went travelling from September to March and he’s in our championship panel.

“These guys have banked a level of fitness and conditioning over the past number of years that they actually carry that. It’s not like back in my day where you wintered well and you had to get into the gym to get the pounds off.

“These guys constantly keep their conditioning in check so that there is no real actual fall-back at all. It’s a one-off, six to eight-month period.”

Clare’s Munster campaign kicks into gear against Cork on 20 May with defenders Oisin O’Brien and Paul Flanagan not set to be involved but their other injury concerns have cleared up.

“Paul Flanagan and Oisin O’Brien are the only two candidates who won’t make it in terms of getting meaningful training done over the next two or three weeks,” said O’Connor.

Oisin O’Brien and Seamus Harnedy Oisin O'Brien in action for Clare in last July's Munster hurling final against Cork. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“I think it’s too late for them now. Oisin has decided not to rehab the injury. It is a meniscus issue with his ligament.

“He is able to play club hurling but he would require eight weeks of rehab and a scope to actually sort him to train with us. So he’s decided to park that for the foreseeable future and concentrate on the club.

“Paul Flanagan has had an Achilles tendon issue for the last six months, (he) was incredibly diligent at rehabbing it. Then went back and probably pushed a little hard and pulled a hamstring.

Paul Flanagan Ballyea club man Paul Flanagan. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

“All the other guys have come back that were injured. Peter Duggan, Cathal McInerney Shane Golden, Conor McGrath – all those guys had niggly injuries but have resumed training now.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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