THE CORK fooballers have mixed news on the injury front ahead of the qualifier against Laois in Thurles on Saturday at 5pm.
Coach Ronan McCarthy is hoping to name his starting 15 tonight, but he did advise it could come with a 'health warning'.
Three players, Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree), Tom Clancy (Clonakilty) and John O'Rourke (Carbery Rangers), missed the narrow Munster final defeat by Kerry.
And two more Nathan Walsh (Douglas), who was replaced by Kevin O'Donovan (Nemo Rangers), and Ruairí Deane (Bantry Blues) were injured during the game.
“Eoghan (groin) hasn't trained fully yet, but we expect him to do that this week and if it's the case then he will be considered for selection.
“Tom (ankle) trained over the weekend but is still not pain-free. Again, we hope he can train fully which would also make him available.
“John (hamstring) still hasn't trained. He's running but hasn't joined in full training, so we will have to make a call later in the week.
“Nathan (hamstring) isn't as bad as we first feared. The problem is the quick turn around.
“Any sort of niggle now is a minimum two weeks and I think the game will come too quickly for him though we haven't ruled him out.
“If we were to win, Nathan would be available very soon after that.
Ruairi is fine. He has no issues,” McCarthy said at last evening's media briefing at Pairc Ui Rinn.
Selectors Sean Hayes and Eddie Kirwan were at the Laois-Offaly round 3 qualifier at the weekend and witnessed at first-hand the threat posed by last year's Leinster finalists.
“I think it's a very attractive game because Laois will believe they can win as we also believe we can win,” McCarthy commented.
Co-incidentally, the counties played a challenge game over the May Bank Holiday weekend at Páirc Uí Rinn with Cork narrowly winning a high-scoring game.
“It was a real competitive game with nothing between the teams and I expect it will be the same again on Saturday.
“We had a fairly strong team though it was a time of year where players were sitting exams.
“A lot of them would have started against Kerry and I think Laois also had a lot of their main players.
“Naturally, it's a help to both sides that we played each other and we'll attempt to use what we learned about Laois in Thurles,” McCarthy added.
Fixtures: R4 qualifiers: Saturday: Cork v Laois, Thurles, 5pm; Cavan v Tyrone, Clones, 5pm; Galway v Mayo, Gaelic Grounds, 7pm. Sunday: Meath v Clare, Portlaoise, 2pm.