After unexpectedly emerging victorious in the National Hurling League, Brian Cody will be delighted with the progression of his new crop of Kilkenny hurlers.
While it was all good news for the Cats less than two weeks ago, this week, they’ve been hit with their fair share of bad news.
For one, Kilkenny’s star defender Cillian Buckley looks likely to miss the opening round of the Leinster Championship.
Buckley picked up a knee injury ahead of the Tipperary game. Despite playing and starring throughout, the Dicksboro defender was forced to sit out from his club’s opening round of the Senior Hurling Championship against Clara on Sunday last.
According to the Kilkenny People, Buckley will be out for one month, but with the Leinster round-robin fastly approaching, he’s now in a race against time to be back fit.
In the National Hurling League this year, Buckley has been a rock in defence, holding the half-back line together with consistently dominant performances.
In their opening round on May 13, Kilkenny travel to Parnell Park to face Pat Gilroy’s Dublin side – and without doubt, this will be a difficult game for the Cats.
With Buckley likely to miss their opening game, Cody will have a tricky task on his hands as he attempts to find a replacement for the Dicksboro club man.
Kilkenny’s current wing-back, Conor Delaney, might be tasked with filling Buckley’s boots, while Padráig Walsh could step out either, leaving Joey Holden to fill the full-back position once again.
To make matters worse, the Kilkenny People also have reported that long-serving members Colin Fennelly and Paul Murphy are also unavailable for the opening round – news that’s sure to serve yet another blow to the Kilkenny faithful.
Jason Redmond, Pundit Arena.