AFTER almost two years of injury torment, Anthony Daly predicts David Treacy is primed to “play a big part” for Dublin this season and is likely to start against Galway this Sunday at Salthill in their Division 1A opener.
And the Cuala marksman’s return to fitness from chronic hamstring trouble couldn’t be more timely for Daly, with the news that David O’Callaghan will be out for Dublin’s “first two or three league matches” after recently contracting pneumonia.
In addition, Dublin are without Paul Schutte (hamstring) along with long-term cruciate absentees Conal Keaney, Tomás Brady and Stephen Hiney and have doubts over Peter Kelly (knee) and Liam Rushe (hand).
But the Clareman is optimistic over Treacy, who has played three full Fitzgibbon Cup matches for DIT this year, although he insisted they had treated his recovery “with kid gloves”.
Daly explained how Treacy, who has suffered three serious hamstring tears and |a ruptured cruciate ligament since the |middle of 2010, undertook a lengthy and complicated rehabilitation process after his latest setback last August in the week before Dublin’s All-Ireland semi-final clash with Tipperary, a match in which he had been earmarked to play a key role.
“We did all sorts of scans and all sorts of long-term looks to build up the thing,” Daly revealed. “He followed a specific weights programme for the winter and a specific stretching programme which was crucial.
“In fairness to him, he really knuckled down and did that very well. He has worked his way back, but you would always be afraid of that injury recurring. He’s in great form and we’re hoping he can play at the weekend and play a big part.”
Along with Treacy, Daly revealed that there would be “a few new faces” in the Dublin team, partly out of necessity due to their lengthy missing list.
He was effusive in his praise of St Jude’s youngster Danny Sutcliffe, and he is likely to be in line for his first league appearance after making his championship debut as a substitute in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final victory over Limerick.
Another who could make his bow is Naomh Fionnbarra attacker Eamonn Dillon, who has impressed in challenge matches, along with Shane Stapleton of St Pat’s of Palmerstown.
Of the more established names, Kelly’s participation hinges on how he comes through training during the week, while Young Hurler of the Year Rushe could play for UCD in the Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-final against UCC tomorrow and if he emerges unscathed will be in the frame for the Galway game.
Daly reiterated his view that Brady, Hiney and Keaney would not play any part in the league and revealed that Brady had suffered a minor setback recently, but remained on course for a summer return.