*Tony Kelly is on target to return for the end of the National Hurling League. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE’S lengthy injury list is expected to be eased somewhat over the next fortnight.

Defeats to Cork and Wexford have marked a disappointing start to the 2022 Allianz National Hurling League for Brian Lohan’s Clare. No games take place this weekend before facing Offaly in Tullamore (February 27th), Limerick in Cusack Park (March 6th) and Galway in Pearse Stadium (March 20th).

For their outings to date, Lohan and his management team of James Moran, Sean Treacy and Ken Ralph have been without Tony Kelly, Aidan McCarthy, Shane O’Donnell, Peter Duggan, Patrick O’Connor, Ian Galvin and Cian Nolan for both clashes with David McInerney and David Reidy absent for the Wexford game.

Since undergoing surgery for an ankle injury last year, Kelly has spoken of his target to be back in action for the end of the National League, a stance he admitted this week remained on course. McCarthy is set for a longer spell on the sidelines and at best would make the end of the provincial championships.

While the returnees will offer increased strength to Clare’s attack, the worry is that only McInerney and O’Connor are capable of beefing up the Banner defence which has leaked four goals in two games.

Speaking on Sunday, Lohan when questioned on the injuries to Kelly, McCarthy, McInerney and Reidy responded, “You’ve got Peter Duggan and Ian Galvin on top of that, they are long-term injuries, they are in rehab, we’re trying to get them back”.

“We’ve a two week break now so we’ll see what happens over the next two weeks, you’d be hoping to have one or two guys back for the Offaly game,” he added.

 

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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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