CORK captain Brian Hurley and Maurice Shanley are in a race against time to be fit for Cork’s Munster SFC quarter-final away to Clare on April 9th.
The West Cork duo both missed last weekend’s draw with Derry, and afterwards Rebels boss John Cleary admitted they were ‘50-50’ to be back in time for the trip to Ennis.
Shanley suffered a hamstring injury the week before the Derry game, while Hurley (shoulder injury) has sat out the last two games against Louth and Derry.
‘I don't know if the lads will be back in two weeks' time, but if they are not, we have guys that stepped up to the plate there today and are ready,’ Cleary said, adding ‘I'd say they are 50-50’.
Both Castlehaven forward Hurley (five) and Clonakilty defender Shanley (six) had started in all the league games prior to their injuries, and both looked nailed on to start in the championship opener away to Clare.
Cork are also planning without injured forward Cathail O’Mahony who suffered a hamstring injury in action for UCC in the Sigerson Cup final in February.
In better news Cleary was pleased to give vital game time to a number of players on their way back from injury, including Tadhg MacCarthaigh clubman Brian O’Driscoll who started against Derry having suffered a hamstring injury in round four against Limerick.
‘Killian O’Hanlon hadn’t got a lot of gametime, so we needed to get a game into him today. Brian O’Driscoll had also been out for a while, so we needed to get gametime into him. Kevin O’Donovan got through a full game, as well. It strengthens our panel,’ the Cork boss said.
The Rebels’ quarter-final against Clare throws in at 2pm on April 9th, and the winner will move on to a semi-final against Limerick on April 22nd. Both Clare and Limerick were relegated from Division 2 of the league, and Cork beat both their Munster rivals during the campaign.