AFTER a frustrating league campaign, Limerick football manager Maurice Horan at least got some good news this week when he learned that Stephen Kelly’s knee injury isn’t as serious as first feared.
Kelly injured his knee playing hurling with Newcastle West on Friday night, an injury that ruled him out of Sunday’s game with Carlow and also Shannon’s crucial AIL game against Blackrock.
But the initial scare that he had damaged his cruciate were unfounded; instead it was the less serious medial ligament.
He’s still set to be sidelined for a couple of weeks but with plenty of rehab he should be available for Limerick’s Munster championship clash with Waterford on Sunday, May 20.
“It’s a relief,” said Maurice Horan.“It’s not good news because he’s going to miss a couple of weeks preparation with us but it’s better than what it could have been - he could have been ruled out altogether.
“He was brilliant for us last year in the championship and we couldn’t afford to lose him - he’s one of our most experienced players and he’s been around for a long while. We’re hoping that he’ll be back for the Waterford game.”
Despite the disappointment of missing out on promotion from Division 4, it was at least encouraging for Limerick to finish the campaign on a positive note. They easily got the better of Carlow in a low-key encounter last Sunday in the Gaelic Grounds and, coming on the back of a draw with Fermanagh in Enniskillen, it at least showed Limerick’s capabilities after the massive disappointment of losing to Clare, Wicklow and Waterford.
Losing to Clare damaged Limerick’s promotion hopes but the loss to Wicklow in Aughrim really de-railed them.
“People say that it’s not good to be in Division 4,” adds Horan. “And they’re right but it’s still hard to get out of it. There are some very tough games in Division 4 and if you slip up at all you’ll be punished.
“We were very unlucky to be relegated last year with six points and this year in Division 3 Cavan stayed up with four.
“We’re disappointed with how the league went for us but we nearly had a revolving door where as soon as one player was getting better another was getting injured.
“At different stages we had to do without Jim Donovan, John Galvin, Johnny McCarthy, Seanie Buckley and I don’t think any county can cope with players who are that important to them.”
Horan is clinging to the hope that Galvin may still play some part in this year’s championship.
The Croom man injured the same knee that was operated on last year in the game against Fermanagh but Horan says that he is working on “stabilising” the knee and if he’s happy with it, he could have a role to play.
“Last year he completely severed the cruciate - this time he damaged the skin graft. We haven’t given up complete hope because if he can stabilise it enough he could be able to play.”