Spillane is still on the road to recovery though Mark Ellis has returned to training

Spillane is still on the road to recovery though Mark Ellis has returned to training
Limerick’s Seamus Flanagan and Colm Spillane of Cork. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

FOUR members of the Cork hurling panel who have been marked absent for the National League are having injury situations monitored closely by the medical personnel.

Defenders Colm Spillane and Mark Ellis have both been long-term absentees, though Ellis returned to training last week and he will be eased back into the set-up. He should be in a position to challenge for a place on the championship squad for the opening game against Tipperary on May 12.

Mark Ellis speaks to referee James Owens. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Mark Ellis speaks to referee James Owens. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

However, Spillane, one of Cork’s most consistent operators last season in the run to the All-Ireland semi-final against Limerick, may not be in able to get back to full training until much nearer that date in May. He’s out with a back injury and according to team boss John Meyler, his situation is in the capable hands of the medical people.

A fully-fit Spillane would be an almost automatic starter, though Stephen McDonnell has returned to the panel to cover a corner-back berth, and every effort will be made to have him ready.

Another injury victim, Michael Cahalane, has had an operation for an Achilles injury and he’s a number of weeks away from being back in the equation.

Billy Hennessy, so impressive for the Cork U21s last year, has been out with a shoulder injury and the St Finbarr’s club man is awaiting clearance to be able to go back into contact again.

Another player who won’t figure in the rearranged league fixture with Tipperary is Darragh Fitzgibbon.

He is being given a break by Meyler and his management team after being on the go almost non stop for 12 months.

“We are giving Darragh a well- deserved break for a couple of weeks. He’s been involved with ourselves, the U21s, Charleville in their run to the All-Ireland club final, and UCC.

“We’ll leave him out for another week or two,’’ Meyler told The Echo.

The two postponed league games involving Cork and Tipp, Wexford and Kilkenny, and Waterford and Galway will now go ahead at the weekend, all at 2pm on Sunday and the three games will determine the pairings for the quarter-finals. The only issue decided is that Limerick will face Laois in one of the quarter-finals.

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