Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor fighting to be fit ahead of league final against Galway

Forward admits the decision on whether he features will be made by the medical staff

Cillian O’Connor is not ruling himself out of Sunday’s Allianz Football League final just yet, but the Mayo forward admits the decision on whether he features will be made by the medical staff.

O’Connor has not played since Mayo’s Round Five victory over Roscommon because of an injury to the back of his knee, at his lower hamstring. And while he remains a doubt for the weekend, the Ballintubber clubman has been training with the squad ahead of the Croke Park clash against Galway.

He missed the 2019 Division One league final because of injury, so O’Connor would like to play some part against Galway.

“I have had a good fortnight there now behind me,” said O’Connor when asked on Wednesday afternoon if he will be available for Sunday’s decider.


“I don’t know is the answer, I hope so, but it’s probably going to be tight. We have training this evening and the lads will obviously then pick the squad. So, I’m kind of in limbo at the moment, I don’t fully know. But obviously I’ll be trying to push as hard as I can.

“I had a bit of a nick that just flared up a few weeks ago and I just couldn’t go flat out on it, so I had to rehab it a little bit and just do modified training.

“But I’ve gradually ramped it up again in the last fortnight. I’d love to play but I don’t know what way it will go yet.”

With Mayo facing Roscommon in the Connacht Championship the following weekend, Kevin McStay might come down on the side of caution and not risk O’Connor, but the former Mayo captain is eager to feature.

“If I’m able, I’ll definitely be putting my hand up,” O’Connor added. “I won’t be holding anything back because you can’t really rest on your laurels in any big squad. If you say, ‘I’ll sit this out and get ready for the next one,’ someone could have a stormer and then all of a sudden it can be a hard team to get in.

“So in any competitive group if you’re right and you feel there’s no risk of recurrence, you’re going to go for it. That said, it’s the physio who will ultimately make the call, if he deems that it’s high risk of hurting myself then he’ll just pull it. I’ll try my best, but I won’t get a word in.”

Sunday’s Allianz League Division One final at Croke Park between Mayo and Galway throws in at 4pm.

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning

Gordon Manning is a sports journalist, specialising in Gaelic games, with The Irish Times