STAR FORWARD SHANE Dowling has resumed full training after lost Na Piarsaigh’s Munster senior team hurling winning campaign last November and can be in the frame for selection before their All-Ireland semi-final on Saturday week.
The 2016 All-Ireland kingpins face Derry’s Slaughtneil on 10 February at Parnell Park and also Dowling’s availability as an attacking option could be a significant boost.
Dowling struck 0-5 throughout their county senior final victory in Limerick over Kilmallock past October but was forced off midway through the second half of that game and subsequent scans revealed he had damaged the cartilage in his right knee.
Initially it was believed a minor surgery would be needed and he ’d return in time for its provincial decider, however throughout the surgery the surgeon detected additional damage to the knee and he had been ruled out before 2018.
Na Piarsaigh manager Shane O’Neill has revealed that Dowling is back in full training since last week and his recovery is going to be monitored before the game at the place where they can bid to reach at the St Patrick’s Day showpiece.
“he’s coming together. He’s been back in full training from the day he targeted that was a week. We’ll only see how it goes over the next week simply to see exactly how he’s feeling.
“It’s been slow enough for him he’s worked very tough to contact his fitness. As of now we don’t know, we harbor’t gone near picking our staff yet.
“An entirely fit Shane would definitely be on the first fifteen. He’s a big game player. Shane has performed in virtually every major game we’Id had. ”
Even without sharpshooter Dowling, the Limerick champions hit 5-41 within their two Munster club spins last year with forward Adrian Breen (1-5), David Breen (2-0) and Peter Casey (0-3) all shining in that last victory.
If Na Piarsaigh have a Complete squad to pick out of the battle with Slaughtneil. They’ve had players like Thomas Grimes (Mary Immaculate College) and Ronan Lynch (UL) included Fitzgibbon Cup action in recent months but they won’t be including in next weekandrsquo;s quarter-final ties with the focus on the All-Ireland semi-final.
Young defender Jerome Boylan, who started in corner-back against Ballygunner, was in action for Ardscoil Rís in last Saturday’s Dr Harty Cup semi-final and will probably be involved with a last struggle against Midleton CBS the week following the Slaughtneil tie.
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