Fives to miss Waterford's Allianz League start

05 January 2017

Waterford's Darragh Fives.
©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

by Jackie Cahill

Darragh Fives is set to miss the opening rounds of Waterford’s Allianz Hurling League campaign with a fresh quad muscle problem.

Key defender Fives was ruled out of the concluding stages of last year’s championship with a similar issue and Déise selector Dan Shanahan has confirmed that they are planning without the Tourin clubman for the forthcoming Munster senior hurling league – and possibly the first two rounds of the Allianz League.

But Fives is Waterford’s only long-term injury worry as they look ahead to next Sunday’s Munster League opener against Limerick at Fraher Field.

Shanahan said: “Darragh is the only long-term injury concern but he should be ok for the second or third round of the League. Apart from that, we have a clean bill of health.

“Darragh’s problem is not as bad as first feared and he’s doing a bit of light running on the field. The physio will let us know when he’s good to go.”

Shanahan also confirmed that a knee injury sustained by promising young defender Micheál Harney will rule him out for the next 6-8 weeks.

Harney was drafted in to make up the numbers in a recent workout against Dublin but fell on his knee.

It had been feared that the Bunmahon man, who starred at wing-back for the All-Ireland winning U21s last year, had sustained cruciate ligament damage but scans have revealed no long term damage.

Currently, 13 players who started for Waterford in the comprehensive All-Ireland U21 final win over Galway are part of the senior set-up, along with Peter Hogan, who made a late substitute’s appearance.

Goalkeeper Billy Nolan, who was prohibited for playing for the U21s last year under a GAA age rule, has also made the step-up.

And Shanahan said: “We’re trying out a lot of lads at the moment, to see can a few make it up to the grade.

“I know it’s winter hurling but you have to play these games to see can they survive at this level, and can they get to the summer time.

“But their training and attitude have been unbelievable. As much as they enjoyed the Christmas, they trained hard too.”

Shanahan has also heaped praise on incoming coach Philip Murphy, who recently replaced new Kerry boss Fintan O’Connor.

Shanahan said: “He’s excellent, a great organiser and has brought a different attitude. He’s a good man and has been fantastic for his club Roanmore, the way he brought them forward.

“He knows his stuff and knows about defensive and attacking gameplans – he’s a very intelligent man.”