McDonald could miss championship

March 28, 2007
Fears are growing in Mayo about the fitness of talisman Ciaran McDonald, with manager John O'Mahony admitting for the first time that he is a major doubt for the big Connacht SFC opener against Galway on May 20. McDonald has been training on his own in Cork, where he is currently working, but O'Mahony has revealed that his ongoing back injury "isn't anything like cleared up". The injury has sidelined the gifted playmaker since last September's All-Ireland final loss to Kerry. O'Mahony was non-committal when asked if the Crossmolina ace would be fit for the local derby clash with the Tribesmen. "I don't know, it's just too far off, we'll have to see. Right now I would say it's very 50-50," he said. "His work is in construction and that's very physical too while he's also driving quite a bit. When anyone sees Ciaran in togs they think he's fit again. But his injury isn't anything like cleared up. "It's still a bit off but the alternative was an operation that would have put him out for a year." Of more immediate concern to O'Mahony is Sunday's NFL Division 1A clash with Dublin at Castlebar and injuries to Alan Dillon (hamstring), Marty McNicholas (foot) and Aidan Campbell (flexor muscle). All-Star Dillon limped out of last Saturday night's win over Cork in the early stages, while Campbell was forced off just before half-time. McNicholas sustained his injury while playing for Breaffy in a club league game on Sunday. The injuries will be further assessed later in the week. David Brady continues to be sidelined with a calf injury, while Trevor Mortimer is expected to be out for at least a month after breaking a metatarsal bone recently.

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