LIMERICK’S team for Saturday’s All-Ireland senior hurling qualifier against Laois, is to be finalised after training tomorrow evening.
John Allen and his selectors; John Kiely and Eamon Meskell will have to make at least one enforced change with wing forward Conor Allis ruled out with a shoulder injury.
The opening round of the back door adventure has a 7.30 start in the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday. It’s a game that won’t be televised live.
As Limerick bid to fight their way back into contention in the All-Ireland championship after the heartbreaking defeat to Tipperary in the Munster championship, they find themselves three wins away from a quarter-final appearance.
Limerick manager John Allen believes that Saturday’s game will come too soon for long-term injury victims Seamus Hickey and Declan Hannon.
Hannon has missed most of the season with a persistent groin injury.
He returned to training just two weeks ahead of the Tipperary game but clearly lacked match practise when introduced as a substitute in the second half.
He played for his club in the Limerick SHC but then in inter-county training he suffered another setback when training two weeks ago.
He didn’t play in a training game last Friday when the Limerick seniors played the county U-21 side.
“His chances are slim but we will wait and see,” said John Allen.
Seamus Hickey missed the Tipp game with a broken bone in his arm and is yet to resume full training.
“Seamus is making progress but is only back with us,” said the Limerick manager.
On top of those two injuries, Limerick were dealt big blow ahead of the visit of the Teddy McCarthy managed Laois with confirmation that Conor Allis will be out of action for up to six weeks.
The Croom man made his senior championship debut at centre forward against Tipperary after impressing for the county U-21 side last season.
Allis turned in an impressive performance with a tally of two points from play.
But last Friday night, Allis suffered damage to the AC joint in his shoulder during a training game against the county U-21 side.
Limerick manager John Allen confirmed that Allis will miss “five to six weeks”.
The loss of Allis means that the Limerick management will be forced into at least one change from the side that narrowly lost to Tipperary in Thurles.
Niall Moran and Kevin Downes would appear in the driving seat to fill the position, but Downes is carrying a slight injury.
If Limerick overcome Laois on Saturday they would progress to round two the following Saturday, June 30.
Antrim would provide the opposition in that tie, which would again be played in the Gaelic Grounds.
That tie would bring Limerick into opposition with Jerry Wallace.
Last season’s Limerick trainer has returned to the Antrim management set-up over the weekend after briefly resigning from his role with the Ulster side.
Wins over Laois and Antrim would put Limerick into round four. That game would take place on July 14.
Clare and Offaly are already among the likely opponents.