CORK fear star forward Colm O’Neill may have suffered another cruciate knee ligament injury.
The 29 years-old goal-scorer in Cork’s impressive 1-17 to 0-9 win over Tipperary in Thurles on Saturday evening had to be helped off the pitch in the 47th minute. He’ll undergo a scan today at the earliest.
O’Neill, who is in his 10th season with the county, sustained three previous cruciate injuries, but battled back each time.
His first came playing with his club Ballyclough in 2008 and O’Neill suffered the same fate again in 2011 in a league game against Galway with a third against then All-Ireland champions, Donegal, in the league at Páirc Uí Rinn in 2013.
“You fear the worst, when something like this happens. We’ll get it scanned and see after that.
“I first thought it was a hamstring and then an Achilles, but it’s his knee,” Cork coach Ronan McCarthy outlined afterwards.
O’Neill was replaced by Brian Hurley, who has also shown great courage to recover from a series of serious career-threatening hamstring injuries.
The Castlehaven player last played for Cork against Donegal in the qualifiers two years ago.
“It shows what great options we have off the bench. That made it a difference, too.
“When Tipp had their period of dominance we were able to bring in good, experienced players.
“I have to pay credit to the other injured lads who are making great efforts to get back playing,” McCarthy added.
New-look Pairc Ui Chaoimh will stage its first Munster football final if Kerry overcome Clare in the other semi-final on Sunday.
If that happens it will be a traditional Cork-Kerry decider on Saturday, June 23, with a 7pm throw-in.
A Clare victory would more than likely result in a final at the Limerick Gaelic Grounds.
Luke Connolly was one of the Cork stars, chipping in with 0-10, half from play.