DUBLIN BOSS PAT GILROY will have to make do without centre-back Ger Brennan as he prepares his side for Saturday’s league opener against Armagh in the Athletic Grounds.
Brennan picked up an injury during the final minutes of Dublin’s extra-time win over Meath in the O’Byrne shield final on Saturday, hobbling off the field with an ankle problem
The Evening Herald reports that Brennan underwent a scan yesterday which determined that he had sustained ligament damage which is likely to keep him out of action for up to three weeks.
If that timeline is correct, Brennan may not only miss Saturday’s game against Armagh but will also face a race to prove his fitness ahead of the visit of All-Ireland champions Cork to Croke Park on February 19th.
The injury is merely the latest in a string of defensive problems which Gilroy faces as he picks his team for the league opener.
21-year-old full-back Rory O’Carroll has declared himself unavailable for the whole league campaign as he spends the year in France teaching English as part of his studies. His older brother, Ross, is still struggling to shake an injury picked up last season.
Also unavailable are their team-mates at Kilmacud Crokes, Kevin Nolan and Cian O’Sullivan, leaving Gilroy desperately short of options at the back.
Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke faces some selection headaches of his own ahead of the weekend’s meeting. With Crossmaglen preparing for next month’s All-Ireland Semi-Final clash against Kilmacud, Paul Hearty, Aaron Kernan and Jamie Clarke have all withdrawn from the panel.
The Orchard will be strengthened however by the return of Brendan Donaghy, Finian Moriarty and Andy Mallon, all of whom are predicted to return, while it remains to be seen if new recruit Billy Joe Padden will make his league debut.