Lacey A Doubt As Brennan Bids To Return.
DONEGAL will assess the extent of Karl Lacey’s hamstring injury today as they begin preparations for the All-Ireland SFC semi-final with Dublin on August 31st.
The four-time All Star and 2012 Footballer of the Year limped on to the team bus afterwards and was in visible discomfort with the injury.
“Karl nicked his hamstring early in the game, but the type of player Karl is he was determined to play on,” explained Jim McGuinness, who conduced no media conference directly after the match but has since spoken to local Donegal media outlets.
“The medical team will have a look at it and we’ll do all we can to have him right for the semi-final. Now that we’re over the line, we’ll get it assessed and get the healing process started.”
“He’s a very influential player for us so we’ll get him looked at quickly and start the recovery. We’ll do it right anyway and what’s best for the player.”
That Lacey actually completed the match after suffering the initial injury would appear to bode well for his participation, however.
He missed large patches of last season after undergoing hip and then knee surgeries and arguably, never regained optimum fitness at any stage during Donegal’s reign as All-Ireland champions.
Lacey would appear to be McGuinness’s only current worry ahead of a clash with a team in equally rude health.
The return of Jonny Cooper to the Dublin starting line-up on Saturday night coincided with a first appearance – albeit from the bench – for Paddy Andrews since recovering from a wrist injury, meaning the only issues facing Jim Gavin is whether to tinker with a successful line-up or if fit-again Ger Brennan (pictured) will play any role.
According to Gavin, the influential St Vincent’s man has “returned to training,” after a nuisance ankle injury but had yet to “return to perform”.
“Just his first touch and the skills of the game … he just needs to work on those,” Gavin added.
Brennan has yet to kick a ball for Dublin this year, having undergone surgery and played for St Vincent’s in their All-Ireland club final win over Castlebar Mitchels on St Patrick’s Day.
Perhaps Gavin’s only other selection teaser is over Jack McCaffrey, who was dropped for Saturday night’s 17-point win over Donegal and wasn’t even amongst the substitutes named in the match programme.
McCaffrey did come on to replace Cooper in the 52nd minute wearing number 28 and Gavin indicated that there had been no issue over his fitness.