Sheedy 'gutted' for cruciate victim Patrick 'Bonner' Maher
Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy says he’s gutted for Premier County attacker Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher who has been ruled out of action for the rest of the Championship after rupturing a cruciate ligament against Limerick on Sunday.
Maher landed awkwardly in the first half of Sunday’s match and a subsequent scan revealed the full extent of the injury.
“Gutted for the chap,” Sheedy told Tipp FM today. “Such a warrior, such a great guy. He’d gotten himself into such good condition for the 2019 season. He had a really good pre-season and found his form really in the League stages of the Championship.
“To have gotten his injury on Sunday is personally devastating for him and we’re gutted for him. He’s a wonderful, wonderful guy and it’s tough on him and it’s tough on his family.
“But, for us, he’s still going to remain an integral part of this group. He has a huge amount to offer outside of the while lines because he has really, really good leadership qualities.
“The one thing we know about Bonner is that he’ll do the rehab and the work he needs to do to get himself right. Unfortunately 2019 season is over for him, but he’s in such great condition and his recovery has started already.
“That’s what you’re dealing with in someone like Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher, he’s a wonderful, wonderful guy.”
Tipperary corner-back Cathal Barrett was also forced off against Limerick with a suspected hamstring injury.
He’s due to go for a scan this evening, but Sheedy admits he’s more than likely going to be ruled out of the Munster SHC Final against Limerick on June 30.
“The reality he’ll be off his feet all this week and it’s highly unlikely he’ll do anything next week,” said Sheedy.
“The Munster Final is most likely going to come too quick for him. Look, after Sunday week the All-Ireland series starts and that’s another competition in itself and we’ll be out after that as well with the winners getting a four-week break and the runners-up getting a two-week break.
“So, you know, we have an All-Ireland series to look forward to and we would be cognisant of that. If he’s not 100 per cent then someone else gets the opportunity and that should make for a really good next few days in terms of our training because while I’m gutted for Cathal and gutted for Bonner, it does present and opportunity for some other guys in this panel to step up.
“I’ve said it all along, I really feel like I’ve assembled a very strong panel. We lost James Barry before the Clare match and Barry Heffernan just stepped in and played.
“We lost Brendan Maher in the match against Waterford and we lost the two lads last Sunday. I think we’re starting to see we have a very strong panel. In sport when one guy steps out someone else steps in and I’m very happy with the calibre of people I have to step in.”
Sheedy is expecting Limerick to name a stronger team for the Munster Final than they did for Sunday’s match, but is confident his players also have room for improvement.
“This is exactly where we wanted to be and we’re really looking forward to what should be a cracking match,” said Sheedy.
“We’re just thrilled to be there and all we’ll focus on for the next two weeks is our own performance. We know Limerick brought down a shadow of a team that will feature in the Munster Final so it probably doesn’t hold a lot of bearing.
“But, for us, we’ve come through the League stages, we feel we’ve built up really good momentum through the four matches.
“We’ve shown passages of play that have been of the highest order and there are some parts of our game that we feel we can still improve on so that’s what we’re going to work on for the next two weeks.”