May day for Andy?
THE availability of Andy Moran for Mayo’s Connacht championship opener against Galway on May 19 seems uncertain after James Horan revealed that last year’s Mayo captain is “quite a bit away” from returning to action.
Speaking after last Sunday’s NFL semi-final defeat to Dublin, Horan stressed that Moran “has a lot of rehab still to do.”
The Ballaghaderreen attacker tore his cruciate knee ligament against Down in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final last August and had surgery to repair the damage in early September.
The Mayo News understands that the normal recovery period for cruciate ligament injuries is between six and eight months which would suggest that Moran, barring any setbacks, should be in a position to play for his club at some stage next month.
However, it remains uncertain if the former All Star full-forward will be ready to feature when Mayo begin the defence of their provincial title in less than five weeks’ time.
“Andy is quite a bit away yet so he needs to go away and work hard on what he needs to do,” said Horan when asked for an update on his 2012 skipper.
“When we get everyone back it’s going to be hard to make that team so Andy needs to make sure he works and does it away from the lights, which is what he’s doing,” he added.
“We’ll keep monitoring it and see how he’s doing. He’ll be going to ground for a few weeks.”
However, on a more positive note, Keith Higgins (hamstring) and Alan Dillon (groin) should be both available for selection for the Salthill showdown.
Higgins was an unused substitute last Sunday while Dillon and Alan Freeman (flu) weren’t named in Mayo’s match-day squad last weekend.
Barry Moran (ankle) is not expected to play any competitive football until next month but should also be ready to face Galway while Tom Cunniffe (achilles) is also sidelined at the moment.
James Horan will also be hoping that his entire squad comes through next Sunday’s full round of Mayo senior league games unscathed.
Meanwhile, former Ardnaree defender James Burke, who now plays his club football in Dublin with Ballymun Kickhams, was a late addition to the Mayo subs bench last Sunday.