Returning duo boost Limerick footballers

THE Limerick footballers have been boosted by the return of Tom Lee and Mike Sheehan ahead of the Munster championship clash with Waterford on May 20.

THE Limerick footballers have been boosted by the return of Tom Lee and Mike Sheehan ahead of the Munster championship clash with Waterford on May 20.

Lee returned to Limerick last week from Australia, while Sheehan’s college commitments in the US also ended last week and he returned to Abbeyfeale at the weekend.

Indeed there was little rest for Ballylanders midfielder Lee, who was used as a substitute when Limerick played Laois in a challenge game in the Gaelic Grounds last weekend.

“Tom was given a programme for training that he was working on and was doing some training with a GAA club over there,” explained Limerick manager Maurice Horan.

Lee’s return is timely, given last month’s injury to fellow midfielder John Galvin.

Sheehan, meanwhile, was back training with the inter-county panel this Tuesday evening. The U-21 player from Fr Caseys made his senior debut last season at corner back but like Lee missed the entire league campaign as he was abroad.

However, both will come into contention for places against Waterford on Sunday week in the Gaelic Grounds in the provincial quarter-final tie.

One man who won’t be available is Galvin.

“He went back to see the specialist last week and now he is to do some light jogging in a straight line to see how that goes. He has his gym programme done and now some jogging and then he will make a decision if he is to have the operation or not,” outlined Horan.

However, he said it remains an “absolute long shot” that the Croom man will play a part in this season’s championship.

Along with the return of Lee, the Limerick midfield options are also looking better with news that Jim O’Donovan is back involved. He has struggled with injury all season but did make a brief appearance in the final league final and then played the full 60-minutes for St Kierans in their county championship clash with Galbally - albeit at full-forward.

“Jim trained on Tuesday night but is not 100% just yet,” reported Horan.

Stephen Kelly (ligaments), Stephen Lucey (groin) and Cian Coady (hamstring) are others on the treatment table but those players should be fit for May 20.

Waterford, meanwhile, will be without the services of their captain Gary Hurney. The attacker fractured his jaw in the closing stages of Ballinacourty’s Waterford club championship game against St Saviour’s at Walsh Park last week.

“Things have been very congested with club commitments hindering some preparations,” explained the manager as he prepared to face into another weekend where over half his panel will play club hurling championship.

“We are playing in a first round game this season where as we had a straight semi-final last year so, yes the club games have had to be squeezed in a bit,” he said.

“Everything is going good now after we had a poor middle to our league. Training is going well and please god no more injuries will come our way,” said Horan.