BY CHRIS MCNULTY
INJURED Donegal captain Michael Murphy will ‘need time’ in his recuperation from the groin injury that has stalled his season.
Murphy had surgery on the injury last month and has yet to line out competitively for Donegal in 2012. The Donegal management had previously indicated that he could return for the game against Kerry in Killarney on March 11th, but last week Jim McGuinness was more guarded, saying that the player ‘potentially might return before the end of the League’.
The big target for the Glenswilly man is the Championship date with Cavan on May 20th.
“He needs a bit of time – and I hope everyone gives him that time. There is no date for a return yet, not that I am aware of. I think time should be given to him though,” his father, Mick, said at the weekend.
“The progress is slow, but he has been excellently looked after by the medical people, Mr (Kevin) Moran and Dr Charlie McManus. They have been exceptionally good to him, as have the management of the Donegal team. They have left no stone unturned.”
Mick was speaking on Highland Radio at the draw for the 2012 Donegal Senior Football Championship in Derrybeg on Saturday. Champions Glenswilly were handed a mouth-watering clash with Gaoth Dobhair to begin their defence – easily the tie of the round in the first round.
Murphy, who represented Glenswilly, said: “Gaoth Dobhair are an excellent championship team and they’ve always been there or there abouts in the Donegal championship. They’re one of the traditional teams and they have some fantastic players too.”
Tom Beag Gillespie, one of a new four-man management team in Gaoth Dobhair, says it’s a ‘tough draw’ for his club. He said: “Anyone who saw Glenswilly last year will know that they’re a well-drilled outfit. They’re a typical championship team, hard and physical. We have our work cut out, but we’ll get going and try to be ready for the first leg.
“We have the tradition there as well, but we need to get the hard work going right away. It’s been a few years since we had a good run in the Championship and it’s important to get the focus up.”
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.