A NUMBER of Cork players who missed last weekend’s defeat by Clare are set to return for this Sunday’s crucial tie with pointless Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 3pm.
No final decision will be taken on the availability of Mark Coleman, Alan Cadogan, Darragh Fitzgibbon and Conor Lehane until after training on Friday night but team boss John Meyler is hopeful of a stronger hand to play with. Damien Cahalane has a knee injury which will rule him out for the coming weeks.
“Damien is doubtful, Darragh is doubtful but we’d hope to have Conor Lehane back and Alan Cadogan, but we’ll see after training on Friday whether they are good to go.
“Hopefully, Mark Coleman should be fit and ready to go and that is really the injury situation at the moment.
As regards Coleman, outstanding in his debut season, Meyler is cautious on his return.
“We were out in Grenagh before the first round of the league and Mark injured his hamstring. If you play him before he’s ready and he breaks down again he is gone for another six weeks.
“It’s a case of being cautious. Alan was sick last week and therefore wasn’t in a position to play.
“Damien has a slight problem with his knee, he went to the specialist, Philip Hodnett, recently to get that looked at, Conor had a slight sore groin, the same with Darragh Fitzgibbon.
“Our hand would be strengthened if Lehane, Cadogan, Coleman and the others were back and, hopefully, they will be soon.”
Now, with hardly a let up to the schedule, the Cork boss reflected on the state of play in the national league so far.
“The first match was very promising. We tried to build on that but the games against Wexford and Clare, they were always going to be difficult.
“The loss of Harnedy and Bill Cooper in the second-half against Wexford militated against us as much as the injuries last week in Clare.
“Some fellows have taken an opportunity, Sean O’Donoghue, Tim O’Mahony, Darren Browne, Eoin at full-back has done really well.
“We are pleased with certain aspects, other aspects have to be worked on. We are are expecting another massive challenge from Waterford but every game we have gone out we try to win so there will be no change in that respect.”