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blues brothers Dean Rock is back on board but Stephen Cluxton's Dublin future remains uncertain

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Dublin's Stephen Cluxton and Dean Rock. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Dublin's Stephen Cluxton and Dean Rock. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Dublin's Stephen Cluxton and Dean Rock. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Dean Rock is on the cusp of a competitive return for Dublin in their opening Leinster Championship match against Wexford on Sunday.

But Stephen Cluxton looks certain to miss out on the game amidst further speculation about his future.

Cluxton did not surface in a challenge match last week, a game in which Rock did made an appearance as a substitute after missing all four league games through injury.

And over the weekend Cluxton played outfield for his club Parnells in a league game, prompting fresh speculation that he will not be part of their effort to win a seventh consecutive All-Ireland title.

Only last week his colleague Ciarán Kilkenny somewhat vaguely indicated that Cluxton was back training, qualifying that he was one of a number who were in the ‘return to play’ phase. Before that, caretaker manager Mick Galvin had indicated that Cluxton would be back when championship training resumed.

In Cluxton’s place, Evan Comerford will step up for his third championship start, having started the 2018 Leinster final against Laois and the 2019 ‘Super 8s’ game against Tyrone in Omagh.

Cluxton has missed only a handful of championship games for Dublin, through suspension in 2004, injury in 2018 and a ‘Super 8s’ game in 2019 when Dublin were already assured of their place in an All-Ireland semi-final.

In Rock’s absence, Cormac Costello has deputised impressively from frees and general play to stake a strong claim for a permanent place.

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