BY CHRIS MCNULTY
WITH the news that Donegal will be without Karl Lacey and Neil Gallagher for Sunday-week’s Ulster SFC semi-final against Down at Breffni Park, they were boosted with the news that Frank McGlynn was due back in training last night.
Lacey is ruled out due to a knee injury picked up in a club game two weeks ago, while Gallagher will not play as a result of the knee injury that forced him out of Glenswilly’s game against Bundoran on Saturday.
Lacey underwent surgery last Thursday on a cartilage complaint after injuring the knee in Four Masters’ Championship game at Ardara four days previous.
The 2012 Footballer of the Year had only returned for Donegal’s quarter-final win over Tyrone last month after seven months on the sideline, but will now miss his first Championship game in nine years, his run of 41 consecutive Championship games since the 2004 Ulster final a Donegal record.
“Karl will be back training before the game and he will be back to see Ray Moran (the surgeon) again, but the game will be too soon for him,” the Donegal assistant manager, Rory Gallagher, confirmed.
“There is nothing medium to long-term to worry about with Karl, but the time is too short for the Down game.”
Gallagher, meanwhile, had a scan this week and he has a bone injury on the side of his right knee.
“It’s an injury that will take around three weeks to fully heal so again the Down game will be too quick for Neil to play,” said Rory Gallagher.
McGlynn, though, is on the mend again.
The Glenfin man played no part in either of his club’s Championship games against MacCumhaills and Ardara having been forced out of the Tyrone game with a troublesome hamstring injury.
However, the 2012 All-Star was expecting to return to training last night.
“Frank’s fitness is very good and if he is fit he will play against Down,” Gallagher said.
“The majority of the boys are 100 per cent, but we have a few knocks.
“We got back to training and are focused and fresh again. We had a good session again on Tuesday and we aren’t too badly fixed, although Neil and Karl are the two big worries. We will get our heads around it and we have had time to do that.”
Anthony Thompson played for Naomh Conaill last Sunday having also had a hamstring injury, while David Walsh was reported to be ‘on the mend’ from a hip complaint.
Young Odhrán MacNiallais is another who is unlikely to be in the match-day squad for the game in Cavan after a hamstring injury forced him out of Gaoth Dobhair’s game against Killybegs and is likely to take ten days to a fortnight to heal.
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.