Both players missed last Saturday’s defeat to Cork, but their recoveries from hamstring (Thompson) and calf (McHugh) injuries are said to be progressing well.
Wing-back Thompson pulled up in the warm-up prior to the Kerry game while McHugh has been sidelined since the week prior to the clash with the Kingdom due to a grade 1 tear on the calf.
The Donegal manager, Jim McGuinness, has reported the pair as having a ’50-50’ chance of making his starting line-up in Castlebar for a game 0that is a repear of the 2012 All-Ireland SFC final.
Neither Thompson or McHugh have trained since sustaining their respective injuries and time is running out for them to declare their fitness.
“We’re hopeful that Anthony will be okay and it’s the same with Mark. Hopefully they aren’t too bad,” said McGuinness yesterday.
In the wake of the Donegal Under 21s’ 0-15 to 1-6 win over Tyrone in the Ulster U21 Championship quarter-final on Wednesday night in Omagh, Martin O’Reilly was receiving treatment on a hamstring while Patrick McBrearty was sporting a heavily bandaged head. Both, though, are expected to make the squad this weekend.
McGuinness has remained coy about his possible team selection, though it seems certain that Ross Wherity will retain his place, with Declan Walsh likely to retain his berth in the half-back line.
McGuinness said: “We’ll look at what we want to do. We’re always open-minded in terms of our thinking. We’ll see how everyone arrives and we’ll make a decision based thing.”
Mayo are sitting dangling dangerously close to the basement places, while Donegal are just two points ahead of them in the standings.
So, it’s a must win game Jim? “We want to win every game,” shrugged McGuinness.
“It will be the same approach for us. We want to look at players, we want to try things, but we also want to win the match.
Obviously if we could win that would leave us safe, so that is a big incentive for this game.”
McGuinness also confirmed that long-term absentees Karl Lacey, Christy Toye and David Walsh will see no game time in the League with their programmes now designed towards the Championship in May.