GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Dublin suffer injury blows ahead of Kilkenny showdown
Last Updated: 06/05/19 8:10am
Dublin hurling manager Mattie Kenny has revealed a number of injury concerns ahead of their Leinster Championship opener away to Kilkenny next Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
While there has been much talk of the Cats' significant absentee list, Dublin have a number of concerns themselves.
Kenny has ruled Fiontán McGibb, John Hetherton and Cian O'Callaghan out of the trip to Nowlan Park. McGibb is likely to miss the entirety of the Leinster campaign.
Meanwhile, Conal Keaney and Liam Rushe are doubts, although both are training.
"[Rushe] hurt his hand," explained the Sky Blues boss. "But Liam is a hardened campaigner. I'm sure we'll do whatever we can to make sure that he's available for us."
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Cuala forward Mark Schutte, who returned to the hurling squad after playing with the footballers in recent seasons, is still on the comeback trail.
"He's not back in full training, he's back training," the Galway native said of Schutte. "The next couple of weeks will decide whether he'll be at the level, whether he can see a lot of game-time or not.
"He has a long-term foot injury that's causing a lot of problems.
"He had to go back for surgery there about eight weeks ago, and he got screws inserted in the ankle. So, he's back doing some running now."
Donal Burke is also unavailable due to exams, and will likely go travelling for the summer once he is finished.
Kenny, who steered the Dubs to the top of the Division 1B table in the Allianz League, came in for criticism in certain sectors for employing a defensive game plan against Limerick in particular. Nonetheless, the former Cuala supremo remains unconcerned:
"Every time you play a game, you come up against different teams that play the game differently. I'm not really interested in what happened against Limerick six weeks [ago]; I'm looking for what's going to happen [this Saturday].
"I felt that some people that analysed the game got it wrong. They said Dublin played with a sweeper, which we didn't.
"We tried to keep our half-back line in place, but Limerick pulled their full-forward way out to midfield and beyond.
"In any game, even teams in the past, you don't necessarily see your half-back line playing above in your half-forward line.
"So, if they sat in that position, that doesn't make them sweepers, that's just they're holding their positions.
"Most teams, the centre-back plays centre-back. And just because there's nobody there to mark him doesn't make him a sweeper."
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage gets underway on Saturday, May 11 as Dublin face Kilkenny in the Leinster Hurling Championship opener. You can also stay up to date with all the action by following us @SkySportsGAA and get all the latest news, previews and interviews www.skysports.com/gaa