Donegal hold their breath on Murphy

Donegal captain and the county’s top forward Michael Murphy is a major doubt for next Sunday’s Division Two League final meeting with Laois in Croke Park.

Donegal captain and the county’s top forward Michael Murphy is a major doubt for next Sunday’s Division Two League final meeting with Laois in Croke Park.

Murphy picked a leg injury in the opening seconds of Glenswilly’s club game with Four Masters on Sunday in Tir Chonaill Park, and was forced out of the game.

Contrary to first reports, he was not stretchered off and he received treatment straight away but it is understood medics that attended him afterwards rated his chances of making Sunday’s final as pretty slim.

However, Michael, who was back at College in Dublin yesterday and working on a number of assignments, is determined to lead his team out on Sunday and is due to undergo intensive treatment this week.

The injury, which is just above the knee, is commonly called a dead leg and can be a slow injury to heal and really it is a matter of time.

The skipper is one of a number of a number of Donegal players to suffer injuries playing for their clubs at the weekend.

Last year’s captain Kevin Cassidy limped out of Gaoth Dobhair’s game with St. Eunan’s on Saturday evening while Ardara’s Paddy McGrath did not appear for the second half of Ardara’s game with Naomh Conaill.

The corner back is struggling with a quad/groin injury. But he was not ruling himself out of making the final last night.

“ I just could not run or sprint fast in Sunday’s game and had to come off at half-time. I am seeing a physio later tonight in Letterkenny and I am also going to the hyrdro pool and hopefully it will be cleared up by the weekend. But it is now just a matter of getting the treatment and hoping for the best,” said McGrath, who is only back in recent weeks from an ankle injury and was also out for a number of weeks after suffering concussion against Kildare.

Mark McHugh also suffered a calf muscle injury in Kilcar’s game against Fanad Gaels in Towney, on Saturday evening, while Dungloe’s Adrian Hanlon also had to be replaced in the closing minutes of Dungloe’s game with Cloughaneely.

Cassidy agravated the thigh injury he suffered the previous Sunday against Laois. But the Gaoth Dobhair man is confident of making the final.

“ I got a knock on the dead leg injury I suffered the previous Sunday but I’m in the tide three times a day and I am fairly hopeful of being fit for Sunday,” said Cassidy.

With Karl Lacey already on the treatment table the weekend casualties brings Donegal’s total injured to five as they prepare for a return visit to Croke Park, and Sunday’s showdown with Laois. Lacey did not feature for Four Masters on Sunday but is hoping to back training tonight (Tuesday).

With Donegal’s preliminary round championship meeting Antrim in Ballybofey, just three week’s away Donegal manager will be loathe to risk any player who is not a one hundred per cent.