BY CHRIS MCNULTY
WITH less than two weeks to go until they enter a Championship arena for the first time in 2012, it seems as if Christy Toye’s hopes of facing Cavan on May 20th are all but over.
The St Michael’s ace has been sidelined for some time now since sustaining an Achillies injury in training following Donegal’s defeat to Dublin in the National League at the end of March.
Toye returned to light training on Friday night and while he is expected to get close to full pelt this week it now appears unlikely that the experienced former county captain will be ready for the Ulster Championship’s heat in just 13 days’ time.
Toye didn’t feature on Sunday as Donegal defeated Mayo 1-14 to 3-07 in a challenge game, which marked the opening of the Robert McCallion Memorial pitch in Swinford, Co.Mayo.
Donegal fielded a strong team for the game, but with Toye going another week without seeing action the clock might just run dead for Cavan – with the second game of the year, like captain Michael Murphy, now appearing a more realistic target.
“Christy has a bit of a problem with his Achillies since the Dublin match. We were hoping that he’d be back sooner but it’s been aggravating. He did a wee bit on Friday night, so we hope that he’ll get back to full training next week,” said Jim McGuinness.
“Christy has missed a fair bit, so we just have to wait and see. We can’t push it with him. We need to be very careful not to do any more damage.”
Neil Gallagher has a similar injury, but the Glenswilly man’s is not said to be as serious, while Karl Lacey (hamstring) and Rory Kavanagh (hip) also sat out Sunday’s win.
“Hopefully all those wee things will be clearing up mid-week and hopefully by next Saturday or Sunday we’ll have had most, if not all of them back,” said McGuinness.
“Hopefully now we can build on this (Mayo) performance for this day two weeks,” said McGuinness.
“It gives us a good benchmark of where we’re at; we need to go now and prepare as best we can over the next two weeks.
“We will work very hard over the next two weeks. We will stay focused; obviously it’s a big for us and one we want to progress from.
“The draw means that the winners play Derry in the next round, so there is a big carrot there for us.
“Everyone is really focused at the minute and they’re working hard and training hard.
“We need to go up another few notches in the next two weeks to get the proper intensity level to our game.”
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