THERE WAS POSITIVE news for five in-a-row chasing Dublin on the injury front this morning with reports that James McCarthy’s knee injury is not as bad as first feared.
The Herald and the Irish Independent are reporting that a scan yesterday revealed no serious long-term ligament damage, and the three-time All-Star could return to action sooner than expected.
Dublin were left sweating after Sunday’s Leinster final after one of their key men hobbled off in the 32nd minute of their 16-point defeat of Meath.
McCarthy was on crutches after the game with an icepack strapped to his right knee, but the extent of the injury was unclear at that stage.
The Sky Blues were praying, of course, that it wasn’t the dreaded season-ending torn cruciate, and Jim Gavin typically gave little away in his post-match press conference.
“We’ll have a look over the next 48 hours,” he said. “The medical protocols will kick into place. We’ll reassess early next week.”
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Ballymun Kickhams ace McCarthy missed some of their 2016 championship campaign due to medial knee ligament damage, while he also had keyhole surgery in his left knee last November to clear up a niggle.
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Although there’s been no official word from the Dublin set-up as of yet, the 29-year-old is now expected to be back to play apart in Dublin’s All-Ireland SFC campaign.
While McCarthy is unlikely to feature as soon, the Dubs face a round 4 qualifier winner (Cork or a round 3 winner) in their Super 8s opener in Croke Park on the weekend of 13/14 July.
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