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Paul Mannion is major doubt for Kilmacud Crokes’ Leinster final showdown due to knee injury

Paul Mannion of Kilmacud Crokes: Knee injury but no cruciate damage. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Paul Mannion of Kilmacud Crokes: Knee injury but no cruciate damage. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Paul Mannion, Kilmacud Crokes,

Paul Mannion, Kilmacud Crokes,

Conor McKeon

Paul Mannion is a major doubt for Saturday’s Leinster club football final against Naas.

The Kilmacud Crokes star, subject of intense speculation about a possible return to the Dublin squad this year, suffered a knee injury in the Leinster semi-final against Portarlington on December 18.

Mannion hasn’t trained since that match and though Crokes management admitted that their star forward is “against the clock” for Saturday’s clash with Naas in Croke Park, they stressed that the injury is not cruciate-related.

“He’s a doubt,” confirmed Crokes manager Robbie Brennan. “He hurt himself early against Portarlington. Then in the last minute, he got another bang on it. So he hasn’t trained since.

“So we’re watching it closely to see whether he’s going to be available or not. But he’s a doubt.

“He had the tests. It’s just a case of him being against the clock now. But it’s not cruciate.”

Brennan also admitted to fears that a fresh wave of Covid cases between now and Saturday as the latest surge in infection numbers threatens to ruin the new GAA season.

“We were hit before the Portarlington game and since then as well,” he explained. “We’ve had cases. It’s just really tricky. We’re not out of the woods either.

“There could be cases between now and Saturday.”

Brennan’s warning comes after Offaly manager John Maughan insisted the build-up to the new season had been “sadly tainted”.

The Faithful have been missing eight players for Covid-related reasons in their preparation for Saturday’s O’Byrne Cup opener against Dublin in Tullamore.


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