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Gearóid McInerney is expected to be fit for the All Ireland Final.
Gearóid McInerney is expected to be fit for the All Ireland Final.

Gearóid McInerney expected to return for decider

By Cian O'Connell

Galway selector Noel Larkin expects Gearóid McInerney to be available for the August 19 All Ireland Final against Limerick at Croke Park.

McInerney missed the semi-final replay win over Clare due to a calf injury, but Larkin expects the centre back to be available for the decider.

"He’s looking good," Larkin stated at a press briefing at the Loughrea Hotel & Spa on Wednesday morning. "We could have chanced him last week, but if it went again he was looking at three or four weeks out and Gearóid will be fit and ready for selection for the final definitely."

McInerney was part of the Galway panel for the second Clare match, but was an unused substitute. "He was we gave him every chance to make it and he was picked to play centre back if things worked out differently Sunday morning," Larkin added.

"Anyone thats carrying knocks you want to play and mentally you are saying ‘my body will hold up’ I wouldn't like to be holing him for 70 minutes I’ll tell you that. "He was mad to play and if we needed him he was ready to go.

"We just felt it was too big a risk on Sunday morning to chance him so we went to plan B and Joseph Cooney came in. He plays in the half back line with his club and I think he was a revelation in the game. Joe doesn’t mind, he’s a Cooney he can play anywhere."

Despite suffering an ankle problem at Semple Stadium John Hanbury will also be fit according to Larkin. "John is fine he just rolled his ankle and is getting treatment at the moment he trained (Tuesday) night again so every is looking good touch wood.

"There was a couple of muscle knocks that are par for the course, but we’ll have a full hand to chose from for the final."

Manager Mícheál Donoghue is encouraged by the 'progress' McInerney has made since the drawn encounter against Clare. "He’s made great progress and it’s down to him, he worked really hard last week.

"All he was waiting for was the nod to go out. That’s how focused he was in getting back, he left no stone unturned. The medics have done a great job with him as well and they are continuing to do that but until he actually goes flat to the mat and tests it, the question mark is there. But he’s doing everything and the medics are doing everything so we are pretty confident we’ll get him there."

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