Rice to undergo surgery on Thursday
GAA:Kilkenny’s Michael Rice will undergo surgery on his hand on Thursday to assess the extent of the damage done in a collision with Tipperary’s Pádraic Maher that looks certain to rule him out of the All-Ireland final. The midfielder’s hand was broken when Maher pulled one-handed across him in the 18th minute of the Cats’ semi-final win over Tipperary on Sunday.
He immediately walked down the tunnel clutching his hand and was replaced by Cillian Buckley.
He was taken to St James’s Hospital where it was decided an operation was necessary to properly ascertain the ligament and tendon damage sustained in the incident.
The Carrickshock clubman, who had hit form having recovered from injury earlier in the season, is “devastated” at the prospect of missing the September 9th final date with Galway, according to a county source.
Buckley is the obvious replacement for Rice in the final, having impressed in the time he was one pitch during the 4-24 to 1-15 Cats win.
Maher was not sanctioned by referee Cathal McAllister after the incident, but later received a yellow card for a similar challenge on TJ Reid that many felt warranted a red.
That sanction will be sufficient to indemnify the Thurles player against any further penalty, because once a referee takes action no further disciplinary measures can be pursued, though the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee could yet act on the incident that left Rice injured.