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'It's a tough time' - 14 Tipperary hurlers on injury list and Sheedy rules out trio for 2019

Barry Heffernan and Dan McCormack are the latest concerns for Liam Sheedy’s side.

Curran, McCarthy and Cahill unlikely to feature for Tipperary in 2019.
Curran, McCarthy and Cahill unlikely to feature for Tipperary in 2019.
Image: INPHO

LIAM SHEEDY HAS never faced an injury headache comparable to the current list of absentees that have hit the Tipperary panel and he has ruled out three players from recovering from long-term injuries to feature for the county in 2019.

Sheedy is starting out in his second spell as Tipperary boss, returning to a role he last held in 2010.

He currently has 14 players marked absent with Barry Heffernan and Dan McCormack the latest casualties after last Saturday’s league defeat to Limerick.

“Barry was concussed. He got a bad blow to the head. He was out for a long period previously with concussion so we’re following protocols but we’d like to think he will be available for selection for the Wexford game but that might come a bit too soon. We shouldn’t be look at months, we should be looking at a week or two.

“Dan (did) the AC joint so add it to the long list I have already. There’s ligaments around that AC joint that we need to assess as well so he’s probably going to go back in the next week and let the surgeon look at it to assess whether it needs surgery or not.

“You’re looking at six weeks minimum for Dan, a big player for me, he’s a real workhorse so we’ll miss him when he’s not there but it definitely looks like he’ll play no further part in the league.”

Dan McCormack is treated for an injury Dan McCormack suffered his injury at the Gaelic Grounds last night. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

A bunch of Tipperary players suffered serious injuries last year with cruciate tears sidelining Sean Curran, Brendan Maher, Michael Cahill and Conor Hammersley with Billy McCarthy severely damaging his knee in a club match.

“Billy McCarthy, Conor Hammersley, Michael Cahill, none of those will see action (this year). It’ll come too soon in 2019. They may see club action. The target for most of them will be to play club.

“Brendan Maher is making really good progress so at the end of February he should be in a position to be available for selection so that is a positive. Sean is going to be with the physios again, we’ll just have to see exactly how he comes out. We have spoken, so it is a question of when he’s ready, but he has a bit to go yet.”

Tipperary GAA Media Event Liam Sheedy with captain Seamus Callanan and vice-captain Noel McGrath in Semple Stadium yesterday. Source: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

Sheedy is conscious of the problems endured by McCarthy, who enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2018. His injury was similar to that suffered by Mayo footballer Tom Parsons last May.

“He was brilliant, he was outstanding. I feel for Billy, I spoke to him, he’s a really good guy, he’ll be doing everything right.

“He’s in very good shape but like I said for Billy it’s not a 2019 project with Tipp, it could well be a 2019 project with Thurles. If anything changes then brilliant. What I’d say is it’s a 2020 plan for Billy for Tipp, which is unfortunate for him.”

Sheedy has been trying to wrap his head around the volume of his players on the treatment table as Tipperary’s league campaign heads towards a Round 3 fixture against Wexford on 17 February.

“The biggest concern for me now is that out of my 40 (man panel), I’ve 26 available for selection and 14 on the injury list. It’s impacting preparation, it’s impacting my ability to try some of those U21 players so my immediate need is to try and get those players back in.

“I’d like to think by the end of February we’ll be in a better position. There’s going to be some players who I would have liked to use in the league to assess where they’re at and I’m not going to get a chance to do that. I’ve never witnessed a situation where 14 of my 40 are unavailable.

“It’s a tough time. It is difficult when you have players that you feel have potential to play and you don’t have them available.”

Following a tough Six Nations opening defeat to England, Joe Schmidt will look to regroup against a dangerous Scotland side. This week, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey are joined by Bernard Jackman to assess the damage of last weekend and look ahead to the clash in Murrayfield:


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Fintan O'Toole

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