Cillian O’Connor hoping to be fit in time for league semi-final

Mayo forward says precautionary scan will determine his availability for Derry clash

Mayo's Cillian O'Connor was yesterday getting a scan, which will determine his availability for Sunday's Allianz League Division One semi-final against Derry.

The former young footballer of the year, whose 2013 was severely disrupted by a shoulder injury, said the latest setback was unconnected, being a leg problem.

“It’s alright. I’m getting a scan on it today,” he said at a media event at Croke Park. “It’s just above my hamstring. It’s a new injury, something I have never had before. They are just going to see if there is a tear in it and if there is I’ll probably be ruled out. It’s a glute injury.

“The medics are working on it, we’ve treated it every day since and it has improved, but until I get the results of the MRI this evening I won’t be sure there’s not a tear.”

One of the new players brought through by Derry manager Brian McIver, Ciarán McFaul, called into the panel last season aged 18, said the league play-offs would be great preparation for the championship.

"We'll be pushing on come championship time but we also have players who play good football and it's showing at the minute, hopefully we'll bring it into the championship. It's all about Ulster championship preparation, every match is a bonus from now on in."

First-team choice
McFaul is included in Sunday's selection, as McIver reverts to his first-choice team having fielded a shadow side when playing Mayo in the final regulation match last weekend. Oisín Duffy and Emmett McGuckin are the only players to start both matches.

The GAA announced yesterday its five official charities for 2014. This year's partners are: the Peter McVerry Trust, Down Syndrome Ireland, the Samaritans, Irish Autism Action and the Ciarán Carr Foundation.

DERRY (NFL v Mayo): T Mallon; O Duffy, C McKaigue, D McBride; K Johnston, G O'Kane, SL McGoldrick; F Doherty, P Bradley; C McFaul, M Lynch, E Lynn; B Herron, E McGuckin, C O'Boyle. Subs: E McNicholl, C McAtamney, K McKaigue, C Kielt, A McAlynn, M Craig, N Holly, A Devlin, D Heavron, C McWilliams, C McGoldrick, A Kerrigan, D Mullan, J Kearney, E Bradley.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times