Darragh O’Donovan has been declared “fully fit” by manager John Kiely ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final after picking up a knock earlier in the championship.
After being replaced late on in the Munster semi-final win over Tipp, a knock picked up in that game meant he only played the final quarter of the provincial final but manager Kiely says the Doon man is back to full fitness ahead of Sunday’s Croke Park clash against Galway.
Limerick go into the repeat of the 2018 decider as Munster champions, having retained their provincial title impressing in victories over Clare, Tipp and Waterford.
With the Shannonsiders in good form, they are also in good health, with David Dempsey the only one to miss out through injury.
O’Donovan’s clubmate Richie English, who suffered a cruciate injury back in February, was in the squad for the Munster final after Kiely described his recovery as “complete”. Also back into the fold is defender Aaron Costello.
“Injury wise, our panel has really come together very much over the last month,” Kiely said. “A lot of the injuries and longer-term issues that were there have all cleared up.
“Darragh O’Donovan did pick up a knock against Tipperary in Cork and that put him back a bit before the Waterford game,” the Munster and All-Ireland winning boss confirmed. “That’s beginning to heal substantially now and I would describe him as fully fit at this stage.”
Limerick have raised some eyebrows with their team selection in this championship with Kyle Hayes being reinvented as a wing-back.
This embarrassment of riches means Kiely hasn’t ruled out more chopping and changing to the starting 15 – despite the good form the team is in.
“There is no two ways about it but it’s very competitive. It would be very easy to just leave the team alone and not make any changes to it. Fellas are working really hard in training trying to bring themselves up along the pecking order.
“We have fellas picking up knocks and getting injuries, fellas will come in and out of form.
“There are lots of different reasons for it, obviously opposition changes from day to day and you might feel that against certain opposition a certain set-up might work better than another.
“The bottom line is that the players are challenging us every week in terms of our decision making for picking the team and in terms of the selection of the subs and that’s a healthy environment for us to be in and I don’t see it as a difficulty.”