Meyler expects Lehane to return against Déise while Howlett still has a key role

Meyler expects Lehane to return against Déise while Howlett still has a key role
Patrick Horgan and Conor Lehane both go for the ball on Sunday. Picture; Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

CORK hurling boss John Meyler is hopeful Conor Lehane can recover from the injury that forced him off against Limerick when the Rebels face Waterford.

Lehane has had issues with his ankle before but on this occasion it was a calf problem that saw him withdrawn early in the victory over the Shannonsiders and replaced by Alan Cadogan.

With another two and a half weeks until the team's next Munster championship clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the Midleton man could still feature.

"Calf injuries are problematic, they're going to take time," explained Meyler, speaking at Centra's launch of the GAA All Ireland Hurling Championship. 

"It's up to the medical team really to get him back and get him ready for selection for two weeks' time. I just hope he is because he's a fantastic hurler."

Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Meyler also reckons rugby legend Doug Howlett is going to play a crucial role in Cork training over the next couple of weeks.

Howlett has confirmed that after 11 years with Munster Rugby he will leave in the autumn to return to his native New Zealand.

He is the province’s head of commercial and marketing, but has also been part of Meyler’s Cork hurling backroom team this year.

Meyler said that ex-Munster captain Howlett “wants to bring up his children in New Zealand but is staying with us for the Championship”.

Asked if Howlett played a big role last week lifting the team for the Limerick game, Meyler said: “I think he will have a bigger role next week as distinct from last week, to maintain the level of performance which we gave against Limerick.

“That’s where you are setting the bar and you really want to drive on from that and build on that.

“You can’t have a see-saw reaction, you have to maintain the level of performance. If you look at Dublin (football) over the last four or five years they have epitomised that, Kilkenny and (Brian) Cody over the last 20 years too.

“No matter how bad they are, they still perform at a high level and when they are good they are really, really good. We cannot let that bar drop now, we cannot go below that. That’s critical.”

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