IAN Ryan looks likely to make his first start of the year in Sunday’s (3.00) make-or-break league tie against Clare in Newcastle West.
Ryan is back in training with John Brudair’s panel in recent weeks and has played a number of games with his club St Senans.
While still short of match fitness, Limerick’s battle to avoid relegation means that Ryan is likely to thrust straight into the starting team for the penultimate game of Division Three.
Experienced defender Pa Ranahan and forward Derry O’Connor are also back to aid to Brudair’s options.
“Pa is back training and is an option and Ian Ryan is training away. He just needs time to get fully fit. Ian gives us a free-taker, a physical presence in the front of goal and experience to the others around him,” outlined the Limerick manager.
He also hopes to have U-21 players Sean O’Dea and Cian Sheehan back in contention after they missed the Fermanagh game.
“There have been patches of very good in the league but the sickening thing was the defeat down in Wexford. Last year we got trimmings off Roscommon and Fermanagh and we haven’t looked like that this year.”
Brudair added: “Now we have to step it up a notch”.
“Clare are in a similar position to us but we know if we beat them we give ourselves something to play for in the final game. But there are still a lot of team in the mix and a lot of tough games for some of the teams down at the bottom.”
The manager said that his squad took confidence from the fine display of the county U21 side in their narrow loss to Cork.
“Maybe this time last year people would have wondered where the back up was coming from but now we have 5/6 coming into the team and making impressions. At some stage you have to get a reward though,” he said, referencing the run of four league defeats.