Footballer of the year Karl Lacey has said he will do everything he can to be fit for Donegal’s quest for a third successive Ulster championship next month.
The four-time All-Star missed his first championship match since 2004 on Sunday, having gone minor surgery on a knee cartilage injury three weeks ago, as Jim McGuinness’s side overcame Down 0-12 to 0-9 at Breffni Park
Last week, Lacey received the all-clear from Dr Ray Moran in Santry Sports Clinic to begin running again and was due to learn last night at a Santry check-up as to when he will be able to take part in full contact training.
“I’ve a long way to go yet,” Lacey said yesterday evening. “I’m feeling good and all going well I will get the fitness levels up to what Jim and Rory Gallagher want. I’m mad keen to get back into it.”
Lacey missed the entire Allianz League Division One having undergone a hip operation before Christmas but recovered in time to come on as a second half substitute in Donegal’s Ulster championship opener, the 2-10 to 0-10 win over Tyrone in May. He then picked up the knee injury whilst playing for his club, Four Masters of Donegal Town.
“I’m back to where I was at three or four weeks before the Tyrone game,” Lacey added. “Hopefully that four weeks will stand to me and I’m looking to build up my strength and sharpness before the Ulster final. I’m going to do everything I can to get a jersey.”
Donegal, who also hope to welcome midfielder Neil Gallagher back following knee ligament strain, will play Cavan or Monaghan in the Ulster final on Sunday, June 21.