CORK camogie has suffered a major blow with key player Julia White ruled out after suffering a serious knee injury in a recent challenge game against Waterford.
“Unfortunately, Julia’s injury has been diagnosed as a fractured knee-cap and femur and it will be next year before she will be able to play again,” revealed manager Paudie Murray on the prognosis for the Douglas club player.
“She won’t need to have an operation for her injury but her rehab will take a good deal of time.
“Julia’s absence from the team is a huge loss for us as she is a player of outstanding quality.
White has picked up five All-Ireland medals at senior level and hit the winning point against Kilkenny in the 2017 All-Ireland final.
Cork were given by Offaly for last weekend’s opening round-robin tie, with games against Wexford and Galway to come, and could also be without experienced defender Laura Treacy on October 31.
“Because of her injury, Laura’s hand originally had to be put in a cast, but she now has had that removed,” explained Murray.
“She is now able to take part in the running part of the training, but she is not yet able to catch a hurley and strike a ball.
“So I think the game against Wexford will come a little too soon for Laura, but hopefully she will be available for the game against Galway.”
A major plus, however, for Cork is that veteran ace Gemma O’Connor has decided to commit again. In the wake of St Finbarr’s defeat by Inniscarra in the club semi-final, the nine-time All-Ireland medal winner has decided to defer her retirement for at least another season.
“We didn’t want to rush Gemma into making a decision, and we wanted to give her as much time as she wanted before she made up her mind one way or the other. Now that she has decided to give it another go, we’re delighted that she will be with us once again.
“Gemma has now been back training with us for about two weeks, and she played in a recent challenge game that we had against Waterford and showed that she is in excellent physical condition.”
Meanwhile, Murray has called on the Camogie Association to fix forthcoming championship ties for grounds that possess playing surfaces of decent quality.
“At this time of the year it’s very important that the games are scheduled for grounds with decent pitches,” remarked the Cork manager on the thorny issue.
“But last weekend the game between Wexford and Galway was played at Bellefield, in Enniscorthy, and the game between Tipperary and Clare was played at The Ragg (near Thurles).
“And the surface at both grounds is not of a sufficiently high standard for championship matches to be played on them.”