*Tony Kelly. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

THREE TIME ALL STAR, Tony Kelly is in line for a return to the Clare colours after partaking in a full internal training game on Saturday.

Brian Lohan’s Clare are currently without a win in two outings in the Allianz National Hurling League following defeats to Cork and Wexford. They will hope to collect their first victory of the campaign when they travel to Offaly this Sunday.

Adding a timely boost to the set-up is the return to action of Ballyea’s Tony Kelly. The 2013 Hurler of the Year underwent surgery on an ankle injury in October and had always targeted a return to action by the middle of the NHL.

Kelly impressed at centre forward during an internal game in Cusack Park on Saturday and is said to be available for selection for Lohan and his management for Clare’s upcoming League encounters against Offaly, Limerick and Galway.

2018 All Star, Peter Duggan partook in some of Saturday’s game but is further away from a return to action. Shane O’Donnell, Patrick O’Connor and Aidan McCarthy are more long-term injuries in the Clare camp while Ian Galvin and David McInerney have also been struggling with injury.

Despite the opening round defeats, the showings of Mark Rodgers had been one of the major pluses of the League campaign to date. However, the Scariff attacker sustained a knee injury lining out for his college on Thursday. The results of the scan on this injury are not yet known but fears have been expressed that it could put a premature end to the UL student’s season.

Due to the volume of injuries and the involvement of Mike Gough and Cian Galvin with the UL Fitzgibbon Cup hurlers saw the addition of some new faces to internal training game.

Adam Hogan partook in Saturday’s game. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Full-back on the Harty Cup winning St Joseph’s Tulla side, Adam Hogan, Corofin dual-star Diarmuid Cahill, the pacy Éanna Crimmins of Newmarket-on-Fergus, Éire Óg forward Oran Cahill and Clarecastle defender David Tuohy though not part of Lohan’s panel were involved in Saturday’s session and could yet find spots on the county panel.

Despite positive showings for their clubs in the Clare SHC, neither Conner Hegarty of Inagh/Kilnamona and Eoin Guilfoyle of Newmarket-on-Fergus lined out in the training match.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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