In a week that Donegal have given up hope on having star forward Michael Murphy for next month’s championship opener with Cavan, the county’s prospects have been boosted with the return to training of Karl Lacey.
The All- Star defender returned to training on Monday night having been sidelined with hamstring trouble in recent weeks and will be fit to face Cavan in Kingspan Breffni Park, which is now just three weeks from this Sunday.
Lacey along with Ryan Bradley, who missed Buncrana’s double round of club games last weekend with a slight hamstring strain suffered at training last week, were both were back jogging on Monday night.
And with neither player suffering any adverse effect Donegal boss Jim McGuinness was expecting both players to step up training again last night and in the next week or so as they build up for the Breffni Park showdown.
“Michael (Murphy) is definitely out; we have finally given up hope of having him for Cavan, but the good news is that Karl Lacey returned to training on Monday night and was back jogging and easing himself back,” said McGuinness.
“The injury was not too serious and was a low grade strain. Karl will build it up gradually over the next week or so and he should be fine which is a big boost. It is a similar story with Ryan Bradley; he tweaked his hamstring last week, but he did not play for the club at the weekend and he was back jogging again on Monday night and like Karl he should be back to full training by the weekend.”
Christy Toye is still receiving treatment for an ongoing Achilles problem while Neil Gallagher is also suffering again this week with an Achilles problem.
It is understood the big Glenswilly man suffered the injury towards the end of the last game in the Allianz League against Armagh and suffered a recurrence of the injury again at the weekend following Glenswilly’s games against Four Masters and St. Eunan’s.
“Christy is receiving treatment on his Achilles and is coming on well and Neil is also having a bit of bother with the Achilles and is also having treatment but it is not too serious and we expect him back training later in the week or early next week.”
Adrian Hanlon (hamstring) and Peter Witherow (twisted knee) suffered playing against Dungloe last Friday night are others that are on the treatment table this week.
Meanwhile, Four Masters’ Barry Dunnion is the only addition McGuinness has made to his panel though it is understood that the manager has spoken to St. Eunan’s Ross Wherity and Naomh Conaill’s Leon Thompson, both who are playing well for their respective clubs in recent weeks.
But as of yet neither player has been added to the squad. It is understood that Wherity is currently studying for exams which he id due to sit next month and is not in a position to give the commitment required until the exams are complete.
Thompson, who has been dogged by injury in recent season, wants to play a few more games with the club before giving a commitment.
Donegal are back training three times this week and they will play National League finalists Mayo in a challenge game the weekend after next on Sunday Mayo 6th.
The Mayo game is in Swinford and is to mark the official re-opening of the Swinford club’s all-weather pitch which is being dedicated to the memory of the late Garda Robbie McCallion, who was a member of the club and died tragically after suffering serious injuries when struck by a car in Letterkenny.