THERE was good and bad news for Limerick hurling manager TJ Ryan over the Bank Holiday weekend.
All Star Seamus Hickey and Kevin Downes both made their returns from injury but David Breen has emerged as a fresh concern.
Round one of the club hurling championship was completed over the weekend and now the inter-county side have just under three weeks to prepare for the Munster SHC quarter final with Clare in Thurles on May 24.
Seamus Hickey started with Murroe-Boher in his first game since sustaining a hamstring injury in the Allianz League quarter final loss to Dublin.
For Kevin Downes it was a first taste of competitive hurling in 2015 when he played the last 20-minutes for Na Piarsaigh. Downes has missed the entire season to-date due to a knee injury.
But while both are now back in full training ahead of the Munster championship, David Breen is a fresh concern after hobbling off injured with an ankle injury 10-minutes from full time in his club’s game. Breen also missed an earlier part of the season with an ankle injury and will be monitored in the coming days to determine the severity of the injury.
Also in a race against time to be fit for the clash with Davy Fitzgerald’s Clare are captain Donal O’Grady (ankle) and goalkeeper Nickie Quaid (collar bone) - neither lined out for their clubs over the weekend.
Limerick have challenge games against Wexford and Kilkenny planned in the next two weeks as they finalise preparations.
Prior to the break for club games, Galway and newly crowned league champions Waterford provided opposition in post-league challenge games.
Both games saw manager TJ Ryan and selectors, Paul Beary, Mark Lyons and Davy Clarke make some positional switches with their regular line-up. Gavin O’Mahony started both games at centre back, with Paudie O’Brien in midfield and Paul Browne at wing forward.
In the absence of Nickie Quaid the goalkeeping position was shared between Aaron Murphy and Barry Hennessy.
While the club hurling championship now breaks until the last weekend of the month, there will be a round of Limerick SFC and IFC next weekend.
There are four senior games scheduled for Friday night at 7.00.
Na Piarsaigh play Newcastle West in Ballyagran, Monaleen play Ballylanders in Bruff, Adare play Fr Caseys in Newcastle West and Pallasgreen play Rathkeale in Clarina.
On Saturday evening, undefeated pair St Patricks play Dromcollogher-Broadford in Askeaton, while Ballysteen play St Kierans in Rathkeale GAA grounds.
After next weekend’s club games the football attention switches to the Munster SFC clash with Clare in Cusack Park, Ennis on Saturday evening May 23.