Damien Comer to miss another Connacht championship following hamstring injury

Galway boosted by return of captain Shane Walsh as they prepare to face Sligo in semi-final

Galway’s Damien Comer and Tyrone’s Liam Rafferty in their AFL Division One match at St Jarlath’s Park in Tuam on February 23rd. Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

Galway’s Damien Comer and Tyrone’s Liam Rafferty in their AFL Division One match at St Jarlath’s Park in Tuam on February 23rd. Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

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Damien Comer looks set to miss his second Connacht championship campaign in a row, with the 26-year-old unlikely to see action unless Galway advance to the latter stages of the All-Ireland title race.

Galway manager Pádraic Joyce fears that the hamstring injury picked up by the Annaghdown club man in the early stages of the league loss to Mayo last Sunday week is set to rule Comer out for up to six weeks.

It is a big blow to Comer, who missed last year’s Connacht championship with an ankle injury picked up in a Christmas charity match. He only returned off the bench when the Tribesmen bowed out in the All-Ireland qualifiers to Mayo.

Indeed, Comer hasn’t featured in the provincial campaign since he skippered Galway to win his second Connacht championship medal when they beat Roscommon in the 2018 final.

“Damien is probably gone for six weeks with a hamstring injury. A hamstring injury is usually five or six weeks so it will put him in doubt for the rest of the year,” said Joyce.

Boosted

Galway have been boosted by the return of captain Shane Walsh, who came on as a substitute in Sunday’s 2-15 to 0-15 loss to Dublin, having recovered from ankle and knee injuries picked up in action for his club Kilkerrin-Clonberne.

But Galway are now waiting to see if former All Star Ian Burke is available for Saturday week’s Connacht semi-final clash against Sligo after suffering an ankle injury in a sliding tackle from James McCarthy which angered Joyce.

Burke left Pearse Stadium on Sunday in crutches.

“We’ve to assess him, it’s an ankle injury. He’s limping away there, he’s on crutches now, so he’ll be in a boot for a while.”

There is mixed news on Burke’s Corofin teammates Ronan Steede and Dylan Wall. Midfielder Steede, who is recovering from an ankle injury, was outstanding for Galway earlier this year after being drafted in following man-of-the-match displays in Corofin’s All-Ireland semi-final and final wins over Nemo Rangers and Kilcoo.

“Ronan Steede is on the mend a little bit,” added Joyce. “He’ll probably struggle to get fit as well, I’d say, but Dylan Wall is gone, he’s long-term as well.”

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