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Lacey may return for Four Masters

Karl LaceyBY CHRIS MCNULTY

KARL Lacey could make his return to action as early as tomorrow night.

Lacey has been sidelined since picking up a knee injury in Four Masters’ Donegal Senior Football Championship clash with Ardara four weeks ago.

The 2012 Footballer of the Year missed last Sunday’s Ulster SFC semi-final against Down in Cavan, the first time in a 41-game run going back to the Ulster final of 2004 that he sat out a Championship clash.

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However, there has been good news on the injury, with the Donegal Assistant manager Rory Gallagher confirming that the Donegal town man had ‘made progress’ yesterday morning.

“Karl might play at the weekend now, he may be fit to play some part,” Gallagher told the Donegal News.

“It’s pretty much a day-to-day thing with him. He made a bit of progress this morning and I certainly wouldn’t rule him out now.”

The good news is that he is now very much on track, barring a set-back, to be fit for the July 21 Ulster final against Monaghan or Cavan who play tomorrow night in the second semi-final.

Lacey’s Four Masters need a win against Glenfin in a big weekend in the Donegal SFC.

His manager Emlyn Hughes was erring on the cautious side when he spoke of the possibility of the four-time All-Star featuring in Tir Chonaill Park.

“We have to be fair to Karl, he has just come back from a very serious hip operation and subsequent to that, he had another knee operation,” Hughes said.

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“We’re very conscious that we need to be responsible in terms of how we use him.”

Frank McGlynn will most likely not play for Glenfin in that game. The All-Star wing-back was withdrawn on Sunday with concussion. He and Ryan Bradley spent the night in Letterkenny General Hospital and is not expected to feature.

Donegal had a get together on Tuesday night where they held a recovery session and went through a video of their win over Down, with the players now back in club action this weekend. All games will take place tomorrow night with the county squad meeting on Sunday for the first of the preparatory sessions for the Ulster final.

Neil Gallagher will not feature for Glenswilly, with the midfielder set to be out for another week to ten days as a result of a bone avulsion in his knee. Gallagher, too, will be able to return in advance of the Ulster final.

Donegal captain Michael Murphy is expected to play for Glenswilly. Manager Gary McDaid has said that he will give the county captain a fitness test ahead of their do-or-die meeting with St Michael’s in Dunfanaghy, but the player is not said to have suffered much damage after going over on an ankle late in Sunday’s game.

The only other slight concern is Paddy McGrath, who will not play for Ardara having had to have a groin injury re-injected. “As part of the treatment he will be out for a week to ten days after the injection,” Gallagher said.

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Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland