CONOR Lehane, Shane Kingston and Daniel Kearney have all been ruled out of the Cork team for next Sunday’s NHL quarter-final with Limerick at Pairc Ui Rinn.
Lehane was withdrawn after just six minutes of last Sunday’s victory over Tipperary with a hamstring injury and won’t have recovered in time.
Kingston, named in the starting 15 against the All-Ireland, but subsequently, was replaced by Patrick Horgan, won’t be ready either after suffering a similar injury to the Midleton man during the course of the Walsh Park win over Waterford.
Danny Kearney, who was substituted in the loss to Kilkenny with a hand injury, won’t be ready either.
However, it’s likely that Dean Brosnan, substituted last Sunday, will be okay while Robbie O’Flynn from Erin's Own will be an addition to the squad.
Horgan, the star of the show last Sunday , will be a definite starter again while Darragh Fitzgibbon, who replaced Lehane, is almost certain to start too after his five point contribution from play against the Premier County while Brosnan should get the nod again in the middle.
Selector Pat Ryan believes it will be another big game on Sunday against the team that they defeated twice during the course of their Munster League triumph.
“We are looking forward to it. These are the type of games we want now as the championship draws closer. Limerick will be a big test for us and we look at it as a 50/50 game. They were very disappointed to lose to Galway last weekend after scoring very well in the first-half.
“Getting another game of this importance is good for the players and the process that we are trying to develop.’’
Ryan was delighted with the win over the All-Ireland champions.
“Yes, it kept up the momentum after the game with Waterford and maybe it was the type of game we might not have won last year. There’s a great spirit in the squad and there’s competition for places and that’s what you want.’’