by Declan Rooney
Galway hurling boss Micheal Donoghue will not be putting Joe Canning under any pressure to help Galway return to Division 1A as the Portumna star makes his way back from a serious hamstring injury.
Canning sustained a torn hamstring as Galway exited last season's All-Ireland championship to Tipperary last August, but fears that he might miss a large chunk of this season have eased after he made excellent progress in recent weeks.
Canning himself admitted his was within a centimetre and a half of having his career ended by the injury, and almost five months on Donoghue remains coy about when his star man will return.
It remains highly unlikely that Canning will be back in time to face Offaly in the Tribesmen's 1B opener away to Offaly in a month's time, but it is hoped that he could be ready to face Limerick in their final league game on March 26.
"Look no time frame yet. Just any of the boys there long term are just doing their rehabs with the medical team and there is no time frame set on them at all," said Donoghue.
"Some of them had significant injuries. We are not putting any time scale on it, we'll just leave it to see. The medical team will get the boys back as quickly as they can. Because of the seriousness of them we have to let them take their course and there is no pressure."
Galway got their year off to a winning start last Sunday with a 21-point win over DIT in Ballinasloe. And they will hope for another similar display tonight (THURS) when they face NUI Galway at the same venue (7.30pm).
Because of injuries, club and college commitments Donoghue was forced to call up four extra players to his squad last week, all of whom debuted against DIT and he is resigned to operating with the same squad until the end of the month.
"We had to bring in a few lads and we have stated at the outset that we have a training squad up to the end of January and it will be reviewed at the end of the league.
"I'd say what we have today will be pretty much what we'll have for the next two games. In the next ten to 14 days we'll have lads back hopefully for the games after that.
"We have to realise that once this starts it's full on, you know? We are on again Thursday and the following week again like, so games are coming thick and fast. When lads' get the opportunity they have to put their hand up.
"We have to be very mindful when you bring in new players to give them the opportunity and give them a few games to feel their way at this standard. that's the way it is."