*Clare’s Rory Hayes. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

CLARE DEFENDER, Rory Hayes is a major injury doubt for the county’s opening round of the Munster SHC.

Wolfe Tones clubman Hayes was not part of the Clare panel which lost out by five points to Galway on Sunday.

Manager Brian Lohan confirmed that the Shannon man “has a broken bone in his wrist and will be out five or six weeks”.

Shannon man Rory has been twice nominated for an All Star award at corner back since becoming a regular in the county senior hurling team since getting his first start in the Munster SHC in 2020. He has been part of the senior panel since 2018, after getting called up to the squad by then managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor.

With Clare’s first round of the provincial championship versus Tipperary scheduled for April 23rd in Cusack Park, Hayes will be battling against time to recover from the injury giving Feakle’s Adam Hogan a chance to earn a championship debut while Cian Nolan of Smith O’Briens is also an option but the Killaloe man has only seen twenty minutes of action in this year’s league.

Mark Rodgers is another player out of action at present. The Scariff forward was ruled out through injury for Sunday’s game against Wexford and is set for a brief spell on the sidelines but is expected to be back in contention prior to the Tipperary game.

It’s not as optimistic for promising forward, Shane Meehan. The Banner clubman has been struggling with a pelvic injury all year and has not been available for selection for any contest thus far in 2023. Subsequently, the Mary Immaculate College student is unlikely to feature in the championship until the latter end of the provincial series, at best.

Shane O’Donnell’s return to training provides a needed boost given the other injury setbacks. The Éire Óg clubman has not been available for selection for the National Hurling League but has been working on his own training programme with a full focus on the championship.

Lohan confirmed that O’Donnell has resumed collective training with the county squad.

Elsewhere on the injury front, Darragh Lohan returned to the matchday panel for the first occasion in this year’s League. The Wolfe Tones man had been centre back during the Munster Senior Hurling League but sustained a hamstring injury which ruled him out of the first three rounds of the National Hurling League and UL’s knockout games in the Fitzgibbon Cup. He wore number twenty five at the weekend as he was deemed fit enough for selection.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

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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