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Mayo sweat on Keane’s fitness

Sport




Mike Finnerty

FULL-BACK Kevin Keane has emerged as Mayo’s biggest injury concern ahead of their All-Ireland SFC Qualifier against Westmeath on Saturday week next at Croke Park.
A shoulder injury forced the Westport defender to leave the field early in the second half during Mayo’s victory over Kildare last Saturday evening in Castlebar.
Keane is due to have a scan on his right shoulder later this week to assess the damage.
Worryingly, this is the same shoulder that the Westport man injured against Roscommon back in January, when a ‘rotator cuff’ problem sidelined him for a number of months.
Keane’s only start of the National League came against Down at the beginning of April, but he has worn the number three shirt in all four of Mayo’s championship games after Ger Cafferkey was ruled out for the rest of the season.
If Keane’s injury keeps him out of the clash with Westmeath, Mayo may have to turn to the likes of Stephen Coen or Donie Vaughan to deputise on Saturday, July 30.
Meanwhile, Conor Loftus lined out for Crossmolina last Sunday morning in the Mayo senior league and came through the full 60 minutes without aggravating his troublesome hamstring. He returned to squad training with Mayo last week.
Tom Parsons, who also missed last weekend’s game due to a hamstring injury, is back running, while Caolan Crowe and Chris Barrett both took part in some training last week.
None of this quartet was included in Mayo’s 26-man squad last weekend, but all four are expected to be available for selection to face Westmeath.
Mayo’s Round 4B encounter with the beaten Leinster finalists will be the first time that the counties have met in the championship since 2001 when Westmeath beat the Westerners by a point after extra-time in Roscommon.
Mayo have been installed as the 1/16 favourites to qualify for the All-Ireland quarter-final, with bookmakers expecting Westmeath to be beaten by at least eight points.

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