Conal Keaney in action for Dublin. Pic: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
THE black injury clouds that have cast a constant dark shadow over the Sky Blue hurling landscape for the past year and more keep lifting.
Last night marked another significant development for Dublin manager Anthony Daly – his so-called ‘Cruciate Three’ all made their playing comebacks in the county colours.
Stephen Hiney, Conal Keaney and Tomás Brady all lined out in last night’s SH challenge against Waterford – the first time they have featured in the Sky Blue jersey since suffering season-ending knee injuries at different stages of last year’s epic campaign.
Details of the hush-hush challenge remain very sketchy, but it’s understand the match finished in deadlock (0-20 each), the three ‘comeback kids’ all played well and, even more crucially, came through unscathed.
It remains to be seen whether Daly will consider starting any or all of this high-profile trio when Dublin open their Leinster SHC campaign against either Laois or Carlow in Tullamore on June 2.
However, the very fact that they are edging ever closer to match-fitness is sure to be a massive fillip for both management and the squad, given how all three would be seen as pivotal members of the team in normal circumstances.
Wing-back Hiney was team skipper before suffering horrendous knee damage in a league game against Wexford in March of last year; Brady was first-choice full-back before tearing his cruciate against Galway last June; while the prodigal Keaney was enjoying a stellar comeback season with the hurlers before he suffered a traumatic motorcycle accident just a couple of days before Dublin faced Limerick in an All-Ireland quarter-final last July.
Frank Roche – Evening Herald