CORK attacker Robbie O’Flynn is set to miss a period of six weeks through injury, but he will be available to the Rebels by the time the championship begins.
O’Flynn, who had scored a goal and a point, was forced off in Saturday’s Allianz Hurling League opener against Limerick after injuring his ankle. While there were fears that the Erin’s Own may have suffered a break, tests have shown ligament damage to be the extent of the problem.
Cork’s last regular league game is away to Clare on March 19 and should they finish top of Division 1 Group A, they would be involved in the final on the first weekend in April — there are no semi-finals this year.
The Rebels are not involved on the opening weekend of Munster championship action, meaning that their opener is against Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on April 30.
Captain Seán O’Donoghue also had to depart against Limerick, retiring before half-time. He sustained a dead leg but should be available again in two weeks or so.
Cork are already without Mark Coleman (knee) and Alan Connolly (shoulder) for the league, while Séamus Harnedy and Tim O’Mahony (both knee) and Darragh Fitzgibbon (shoulder) have yet to feature this year but should be back soon.
With Cork likely to allow their UCC contingent to rest after last night’s Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-final against ATU Galway, the team for Sunday’s trip to Salthill to face Galway is likely to feature some changes from the Limerick game.
Henry Shefflin’s side eliminated Cork from the championship last year and will represent another tough challenge.
“We’re going up to Galway, Salthill, a tough place to go,” says Cork selector Wayne Sherlock.
“Last Saturday, being honest, I would have cut down the scoreboard if I could.
All we cared about, at the end of the day, was our attitude and our application.
“Scoreboards in leagues can be exaggerated but, look, the fact that we came back after being down, there was no panic at half-time — the lads knew that they needed to work a bit harder — and it was all their own doing, we didn’t have much to say.
“I suppose the weekend is a big game because consistency is what we’re trying to get into the group. We probably haven’t been as consistent as we should have been over the years, so if we go out Sunday again with a big performance, ignore the scoreboard and put in a great shift, it’s another plus.
“It is a big game, Galway play a good running game and it’s a bit different to what Limerick do. These fellas have to get used to playing against different teams so this is another challenge and, up in Galway, you never get it easy.”