*Colm Madden and John Conlon compete for possession. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Clare hurler John Conlon has undergone keyhole surgery while All Star Tony Kelly, his clubmate Jack Browne and defender Patrick O’Connor remain sidelined.
Conlon had to undergo keyhole surgery last week for a knee injury, initial concerns feared that the St Aidan’s primary school teacher in Shannon had a repeat cruciate ligament injury which thankfully proved not to be the case.
Clonlara felt the absence of the towering attacker as they drew with Kilmaley on Saturday, needing a win to progress to the knockout stages of the Clare SHC. The 2013 All Star and All-Ireland winner is expected to be out of action into the early New Year.
Ballyea duo Tony Kelly and Jack Browne are battling ankle and hamstring injuries respectively. Kelly’s ankle problem is a reoccurring issue with an operation and four month recuperation period detailed as one solution.
The former Hurler of the Year was not togged for his club at the weekend but acted as a hurley carrier and was capable of running to and from the pitch with a towel to assist Niall Deasy on frees. While the injury is said to be a painful one, Kelly is tipped to line out with Ballyea as the Clare SHC continues.
His clubmate and staff colleague at St Flannan’s College, Browne has struggled to shake off a hamstring injury which saw him substituted at half-time versus Crusheen at the beginning of September.
He was seated among the substitutes in Cusack Park at the weekend with supporters hopeful the Ballyea captain will be in a position to line out when they face Kilmaley in the quarter-finals.
Tubber’s Patrick O’Connor continues to recover from an ACL injury which kept him out of Brian Lohan’s championship plans this season. The defender’s absence was heavily felt by his club at the weekend when they exited in the Clare IHC at the hands of Smith O’Briens.