Justin McMahon . . . back in contention for Tyrone
Donegal’s Ulster semi-final opponents Tyrone have received a timely boost on the injury front with little over two weeks out from the eagerly awaited clash in Clones.
Justin McMahon and Cathal McCarron, who both missed the Red Hands 11 point first round win over Derry in Celtic Park, are back in training.
McMahon has been a close companion of Michael Murphy in recent encounters between the counties in the championship.
Meanwhile, Donegal are staying quiet this week but other than Paul Brennan (hand injury), are believed to have no major injury concerns ahead of the June 18th showdown.
St. Eunan’s Caolan Ward was the only member of the Donegal team that started in the first round win over Antrim, that played for his club in last weekend’s club league programme.
Eamonn Doherty did not play for St Eunan’s against Dungloe and is understood to have a hamstring strain.
However, it is believed all the rest were rested purely for precautionary reasons and they are all training away this week.
A number of those who were in the 26 man squad for the Antrim game did feature for their clubs at the weekend.
Mark McHugh put in a man of the match performance against Glenswilly while Martin McElhinney was at midfield for St Michael’s against Four Masters.
Enda McCormick was in sparkling form for Termon against MacCumhaills. Darach O’Connor played for Buncrana in their draw with Malin and Peter Boyle was in goals for Aodh Ruadh against Ardara on Friday night.
This weekend’s round of games in the All-County Football League are ‘Star’ games.
All of the squad are free from club duties this weekend as Rory Gallagher ramps up preparation for what is the first big clash of the Ulster championship.
Tyrone have lost Ronan McNabb, who was in the 26 man squad against Derry, to injury. The defender suffered a suspected broken ankle playing for Dromore against Urney and is expected to be out for between four to six weeks.
He is due to have a scan on the injury later this week, but has no chance of making the squad for the Donegal game.
Donegal, Tyrone and Monaghan are seen as the current big three in Ulster and it is generally accepted the Ulster champions will come from that three.
Tyrone are the reigning champions. They defeated Donegal in the final after coming from behind to win 0-13 0-11 to win their first Ulster title in six years.
Tickets for the Pat McGrane Stand and the Eastern Stand and the Clones Hill are available through SuperValu and Centra outlets and on www.ticket.ie.
A limited number of Gerry Arthur Stand tickets will be available through clubs only.
Donegal clubs are to have their ticket requests with the Donegal Administrator Noreen Doherty by close of business tomorrow (Friday).