By Shane Brophy
Tipperary forward Seamus Callanan has been ruled out of action for 6-8 weeks after picking up a knee injury sustained in the National Hurling League win over Waterford on Saturday night in Thurles.
The 2019 All-Ireland winning captain started lively and was denied a goal chance early on before he sustained the injury in a 20th minute collision and was forced off shortly after. It was initially thought it was just a bang on the knee but the Drom & Inch clubman said he felt it twist. He had the scan on Monday and was diagnosed with a medial ligament strain which rules him out for 6-8 weeks and will miss the rest of the league campaign. He is also now in a race against time to be fit for Tipperary's Munster Championship opener against Clare on April 23rd.
It adds to Tipperary’s lengthy injury list, added to by Conor Bowe who lasted just ten minutes on the field as a second half substitute, sustaining a quad muscle injury and was withdrawn as a precaution in the 4-23 to 0-25 win which secures Tipperary’s place in the semi-finals but the extra game, or two of they reach the final, will put more stress on the players but manager Liam Cahill is confident they will cope.
“We’ve really good people in Tipperary with me, great support people, brilliant strength & conditioning people with Tommy Ryan and Angela Walsh and all these guys, Damien Young, good fellas that look after our strength and conditioning.
“That’s something we’ll be very much on top of and making sure we’re doing the right thing with the right players leading into the League semi-final and hopefully final and ultimately the first round of the championship.”
Tipperary have one final group stage game away to Darren Gleeson’s Antrim next Sunday before they can turn their attention to a last four tie, likely to be against All-Ireland champions Limerick the weekend after.
Cahill guided Waterford to the league title last before they underperformed in the championship, and won’t be turning his nose up at winning a National title with his native county.
“There’s a lot being written and said about the National League and it is a fairly intense nature week after week.
“Obviously, if you get to a final it’s only two weeks to the first round of the Munster Championship where ultimately every team is judged in the summer.
“Look, the league is a national title. I have a lot of respect for the league. I’m fortunate enough to have been part of a team that won two of them as a player. They’re national titles. Not too many players have them. At this stage, we’ll be going after it and we’ll be doing our best to try to get to a final and try to win it.”