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Jim hopeful on duo for Mayo

Jim McGuinness is hoping that Mark McHugh will be available on Sunday when Donegal face Mayo.

BY CHRIS MCNULTY IN CORK

JIM McGuinness is hoping to have Anthony Thompson and Mark McHugh available for this Sunday’s trip to face Mayo in MacHale Park, Castlebar (throw-in, 2pm).

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The pair missed Saturday night’s 0-12 to 0-10 defeat to Cork at Pairc Ui Rinn through injury, but the influential duo could return for Sunday’s repeat of the 2012 All-Ireland SFC final.

It’s a game that has huge connotations in Division 1, with Donegal two points clear of Mayo and chasing a win that would seal their top-flight status for 2014.

McHugh missed the games against Kerry and Cork due to a calf injury. The Kilcar man has a ‘couple of wee tears’ on the calf and it’s a case of ‘wait and see’, but the hope remains that the All-Star will be able to play.

“We missed Mark tonight in terms of his directness in getting up the field, so fingers crossed,” said McGuinness after his team’s defeat on Saturday evening.

McGuinness has said that he will get a ‘true reading’ on Thompson’s hamstring injury at training tomorrow night. The Naomh Conaill man picked up the injury in the warm-up prior to the Kerry game and was not part of the squad that travelled to Cork.

“It’s not too bad, just a minor tear, so hopefully we’ll have him for Mayo,” McGuinness said.

Donegal remain without Karl Lacey (hip), David Walsh (shoulder) and Christy Toye (virus), with all three ‘working very hard’ to get fit.

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McGuinness said: “We have five there of our Championship seventeen or eighteen (regularly used players) last year and that is a lot for us.

“We don’t have that massive depth so it’s good that we’re still looking at players. We’d obviously like to get our full hand back sooner rather than later.”

McGuinness is content where his side is at despite seeing Cork pop off seven points in succession in the second half on Saturday.

He said: “I think we’re probably there or thereabouts where we were last year. We’re maybe a wee bit ahead in terms of our overall conditioning. We’re reasonably happy, but we’re disappointed with our second half performance tonight.”

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