Cork have been hit with a huge injury worry ahead of Sunday’s Munster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final against Waterford.
Conor Lehane has picked up an ankle injury in training, which may see him ruled out of the clash with the Déise in Thurles.
The Midleton man would be a massive loss for Cork ahead of the game if he were to miss out, having truly shown his brilliance in last month’s quarter-final win over Tipperary where picked up the Man of the Match accolade. He notched ten points that day against the All-Ireland champions, really delivering on the potential excellence he has previously only shown in flashes.
It looked as though Lehane had come of age and was ready to lead the line for 2017 as Cork’s star forward, having taken over the free-taking duty also. There was a feeling amongst Leeside folk that the crafty stickman was finally prepared to step up as a real leader for this team going forward.
Now, the Rebels have been dealt a setback, with Lehane in “a race against time” to be fit for Sunday. Those were the words of Cork manager Kieran Kingston as he provided an update on the shape of his charges heading into the big game this weekend, when speaking to The42.ie today.
“The main concern from the team the last day would be Conor Lehane.
“He picked up a knock in training and is in a race against time basically. It was a knock in his ankle.
“We’d be hopeful but it’s 50-50 whether he’d be available or not,” Kingston said.
The Rebels boss openly admitted how much of a blow losing the 24-year-old ahead of the meeting with Derek McGrath’s side would be:
“He was outstanding, he’d a super game against Tipperary and has become this year in particular a leader for us.
“Therefore he’d be a monumental loss if he’s out,” he expressed.
“Having said that, you’ve to get on with these things and that’s why you’ve a panel.
“His misfortune if he doesn’t make it is another fella’s opportunity.”
While the Cork medics and physios will be working overtime in efforts to have the star half-forward fit for this weekend’s provincial semi-final, other forwards that were introduced off the bench in the side’s thrilling victory over The Premier, namely Mikey Cahalane, should be ready to pounce at the opportunity of a starting berth in what promises to be a cracking fixture.