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BOTH Limerick and Kilkenny have injury concerns leading up to their intriguing encounter this Sunday in the All-Ireland hurling quarter-final at Semple Stadium.
Limerick are sweating on the fitness of defender Tom Condon for Sunday’s must-win game, after he suffered a twisted knee during their recent qualifier win over Clare.
However, he has since returned to training this week, with manager John Allen again able to choose from a full-strength squad.
As previously reported by this writer for Sports News Ireland in recent days, Kilkenny’s Brian Hogan will almost certainly miss Sunday’s clash, having suffered a leg injury in a recent club game.
Hogan has been unable to train in recent days, and despite receiving intensive treatment, the former All-Ireland winning captain’s injury has been slow to respond, with Brian Cody concerned over the centre-back’s fitness.
Billed as part of an exciting double-header in Thurles, and preceded by Cork and Waterford at 2pm, both the Treaty and the Cats will hope that their key players will play some part on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Limerick star forward Declan Hannon believes that their recent u21 Munster final loss to Tipperary has given the county a wake-up call.
Hannon was part of the Treaty’s much-fancied u21 side who were hot favourites to ease past the Premier County in their recent Munster final clash, but suffered a huge setback as Tipp recorded a shock win.
“We were just very, very flat, never got going at all and for what reason, I don’t know,” Hannon explained to the Irish Examiner.
“The whole place was still on a high after the Clare win, eight seniors coming back into the 21s, but not one of us performed the way we can. I can’t explain it, we just couldn’t get going at all for whatever reason, they started to score a few points and that was it.”
The young Adare man spoke of the “massive buzz” around Limerick at the moment, with everyone talking about the weekend’s huge fixture.
“We just have to forget about the u21’s, it’s over now, nothing we can do about it so there’s no point in wasting time and energy thinking about it, what we could have done differently.”
“Kilkenny is another massive battle, we’re going to have to knuckle down for that. It’s going to be one of these miracles if we win but sure we’ll be giving it a lash,” Hannon finished.