Kilkenny star, Colin Fennelly, faces a battle to be fit for the All-Ireland hurling final on September 4 after picking up an injury in a club game on Saturday, writes John Knox.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks attacker pulled up with a serious hamstring injury during a senior league game against Clara in Thomastown on Saturday. The early indications were that the 23-year-old would be sidelined for weeks.
Fennelly, who forced his way into the team during the National League this season and featured in the final against Dublin as well as the subsequent three championship games, was in serious pain while being treated on the sideline.
There were only about five minutes left in the match when Fennelly pulled while charging at the opposing goal. He fell to the ground in serious pain and he had to be carried off the pitch by three colleagues.
After being treated on the sideline area his brother Michael Fennelly, who sat out the game to avoid aggravating a leg muscle, drove his car to the side of the pitch to take the player off to be treated.
Colin Fennelly was rushed immediately to the chryotheraphy centre in Wexford for treatment, but he faces an anxious wait over the next few days before the injury can be fully assessed.
However, most hamstring injuries take weeks to come right, which would leave the former under-21 All-Ireland medal winner facing a battle against the clock if he is to be involved in what would be his first senior final.
Elsewhere, former All-Star Michael Rice was a spectator when his club, Carrickshock suffered a bad defeat against James Stephens in the league. Rice picked up a rib injury in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Waterford but he should be fit to resume training by the end of the week.
Defender John Dalton, who was on the Kilkenny team beaten by Tipperary in last year’s final, also missed that Carrickshock game after being involved in an accident earlier in the day. Early indications were that he should be ready to resume training shortly.