CHRISTY TOYE is the only one of Donegal’s walking wounded who might make a comeback this Sunday when Laois visit Letterkenny in the second round of fixtures in the National Football League Division Two.
Twenty-eight-year-old Toye was one of a host of experienced players who missed Donegal’s 1-10 to 1-9 loss against Down in Newry on Saturday night and after the game manager Jim McGuinness said the injury picked up by the Creeslough native was a concern.
“Christy is suffering from tendonitis in his shoulder,” McGuinness said. “He trained last week and it was fine and it was only the next morning when he got up he felt a problem with it. We’ll keep an eye on it this week.”
Captain Michael Murphy had an operation on a groin injury last month, while last year’s top scorer in the championship Colm McFadden also missed out at Pairc Esler with a bulging disc in his back.
It is hoped both will be fit to return in mid-March. Eamon McGee was unable to take part as he too was suffering from a groin complaint and Eoin Waide has a broken thumb.
One player in the headlines of late has been Martin McElhinney. The centre-fielder was given a fitness test on Saturday night before throw-in and was deemed well enough to take his place on the substitutes’ bench, coming on after 25 minutes.
McElhinney was stuck in the middle of a public spat between McGuinness and DCU coach Niall Moyna a fortnight ago when he injured an ankle in the warm-up before an inter-county challenge match between Donegal and Monaghan in Clones - the same day he was supposed to play for his college in the O’Byrne Cup semi-final against Meath.
The St Michael’s clubman had a fine outing on Saturday night, scoring Donegal’s goal after 51 minutes.
However, McGuinness confirmed McElhinney went over on the same ankle in the closing stages and could face a fortnight on the sidelines, whilst the player was later to be seen hobbling to the team bus. DCU are due to open their Sigerson Cup campaign this afternoon against Cork Institute of Technology.
“We had a look at Martin before the game and when he came on he did well,” McGuinness added. “It’s just unfortunate that he seemed to go over on the ankle - the same ankle - in the last couple of minutes and he could be out for a couple of weeks.”
Despite the result against Down on Saturday, McGuinness was content to get the season underway. In the coming weeks he will work on his panel’s fitness and familiarity.
“At least the league is up and running,” he said. “We had a game tonight and we’ll have a game next week and it’ll give us a bit of traction as we build up our fitness and move up the ladder.
“Laois will be a difficult assignment and we will have to just put the head down and get on with it.”