Darragh O’Donovan, Aaron Gillane to miss out for Limerick

Limerick’s Darragh O’Donovan and top scorer Aaron Gillane will miss the county’s crunch Division 1B fixture against Dublin on Saturday.

Darragh O'Donovan of Limerick against Aohghus Clarke of Westmeath in 2016.

O’Donovan, at centre-forward in Limerick’s opening two hurling league victories, broke his finger during an in-house game on Saturday and faces a number of weeks out.

Gillane, meanwhile, had been posting double-digit tallies for county and college (Mary I) in recent weeks and his absence is ill-timed for a game manager John Kiely has described as “massive”. The forward went over on his ankle towards the end of the win over Offaly, a game where he finished with 1-8, and while the Patrickswell forward is no longer in a medical boot, Kiely reckons the Dublin fixture may come too soon.

“We brought him off as a precaution against Offaly, but then the ankle became quite swollen and sore afterward. The Dublin game is probably just coming a little bit too soon for him.”

Also unavailable for the visit of Pat Gilroy’s Dublin hurlers is Kyle Hayes, a regular championship starter last summer and centre-back on the county’s All-Ireland U21 winning team. Hayes, nursing a groin injury at present, has yet to see action in 2018.

“That groin has been troubling him on and off for the last 12 months,” Kiely explained. “It is something we needed to deal with properly and comprehensively. Otherwise, it would keep flaring up. That’s why we’ve kept him on the sideline for so long.”

Returning to the fold is Declan Hannon. The Treaty captain tweaked his hamstring against Kerry in the Munster SHL on January 7 and has not featured since. Graeme Mulcahy, another troubled by his hamstring in recent months, is also back in the frame for the visit of Dublin.

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