“Hamstrings should not be risked regardless of the situation.”
Former Roscommon manager Kevin McStay suggested that Donegal will regret playing talisman Michael Murphy during their 2-25 to 1-12 victory over Down in the Ulster championship on Sunday.
Murphy was a doubt coming into the match and was substituted before half-time after suffering a recurrence of the same hamstring injury.
Writing in his Irish Times column, McStay gave his opinion on the situation.
Kevin McStay managed Roscommon from 2016-2018.
” You could see in the first 10 minutes why they wanted him out there. He runs the show,” McStay wrote.
“He has the ball winning, the scoring, the calmness, the organisational presence, he sets the tone and once the pattern of the game was established, Donegal just had to keep pushing the train down the tracks.
“It was a typical opening day performance from Donegal: sleek and impressive and high scoring. But it was tempered by that early injury to Murphy and the sense of uncertainty now as they move into the white water of the Ulster championship.”
Donegal have reached nine of the previous 10 Ulster finals.
McStay revealed he was once given medical advice that hamstrings should not be risked regardless of the situation.
“Hamstrings are desperately tricky. You think you have shaken it off and then it just bites you again. The fact that Murphy left the field suggested Donegal took a risk with him here,” he wrote.
“He wasn’t fully right. My former team doctor with Roscommon, Martin Daly, would not ever touch anyone with a hamstring issue.
“He would tell you early and without equivocation: this guy is out. He won’t be available until such a date. So don’t come around talking about solutions or injections.
“That’s it! Hamstrings can become chronic repetitive injuries. Donegal have lost two weeks now with Michael. So I am sure there is a bit of regret that they didn’t hang tight.”
Donegal beat Roscommon in 2018 when Kevin McStay was manager.
The Mayo native feels Donegal should rule Murphy out of their quarter-final clash with Derry to give him a chance to recover from his injury properly.
“And they have to rule him out of the Derry game now in order to give his leg a chance to repair properly. Sunday marked his 50th championship game in a row, a testament to his durability,” the former St. Brigid’s manager wrote.
“But extending that streak wasn’t worth the cost and the match offered the ideal opportunity for Donegal to win an Ulster championship game without relying on Murphy.
“They need to be respectful of this injury for the remainder of the summer.”