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Dublin: 9°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Bonner doubt, Callanan hope and Forde appeal - Tipp waiting game for attackers

The Munster championship opener against Cork looms large on 21 May.

Tipperary open their Munster title defence against Cork on 21 May.
Tipperary open their Munster title defence against Cork on 21 May.

AS SOON AS one headache about the availability of a forward starts to clear for Tipperary boss Michael Ryan, another one emerges.

The news is upbeat about Seamus Callanan, an absentee in the league final hammering they suffered against Galway, ahead of Sunday week’s opening Munster battle against Cork.

But an upshot from the weekend’s local action in Tipperary, was a fresh injury concern about Patrick Bonner Maher.

“(It’s) too soon for Bonner Maher in terms of diagnosis. He did go off with a hamstring strain. The extent of that is not known right now.

“It does take 24 to 48 hours to assess properly and get a proper assessment on it. There is certainly a question mark about Bonner right now.

“With Seamus we don’t know, his injury is three weeks old yesterday. It should be a long, long way towards healed.

“So we’re very hopeful. We expect to see Seamus back on the pitch this week and we need that to happen.”

Ryan stated that Niall O’Meara, Donagh Maher and John Meagher are all set to miss out on the clash with Cork due to injuries.

The situation with Jason Forde is unclear, whether Tipperary will continue to pursue clearance for a player who at the moment is set to be suspended for the game after the league semi-final controversy.

“We have made no call on that just yet,” revealed Ryan.

“I was at the hearing. We have got to respect a process that is made in good faith.

“We’d still trust that we would get the right outcome out of there. No decision has been made as to whether we will take it further.

“It’s not something I really want to get into. Number one it’s live and we need to be fair to everyone in that process.

“I felt it was a thing of nothing to be honest and no one was more surprised than I that he was cited in the first place.”

Ryan is open-minded about the new proposals to revamp the hurling championship but expressed his concerns about overloading players with an increased volume of games.

“Personally I’d be very open minded. What players want and people want is as many top quality games as they can get within reality.

“We talk about fatigue and protection of young players. They are not professional, it is not the Premiership.

“They have very real lives between college, work and relationships and they are doing a fantastic job.

“We need to be careful about overloading them. There is a whole club structure behind it that needs to be protected and nourished.

“At the end of the league our guys had played eight games in 10 weeks, Galway had the same. It certainly wasn’t put up there as an excuse but it certainly was a fact.

“They’re only human, they’re not machines. It’s never an easy fix to get the right level of balance.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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