KILDARE’S treatment room is a quiet place this week as midfielder Daryl Flynn returned to full training last week.
Along with Eamonn Callaghan, Flynn has been absent since the start of the year because of a groin injury, but both players are now returning to full fitness and could be in the frame for a return to action sooner rather than later.
Flynn’s groin injury has dogged him his year but has now cleared up and he returned to full training last week without any ill effects. Having missed so much early season work, Flynn still has still some way to go to reach the fitness levels of the rest of the squad and Callaghan is in a similar position.
One of a very select group of players who have played in over 100 league and championship games for the county, Callaghan hasn’t started a game since the Division 2 league final at the end of April last year. His groin injury has cleared now and he too is back in full training. He was able to tog out and feature on the substitute’s bench during the win over Kerry on Sunday.
The Naas man wasn’t used by Kieran McGeeney against Kerry although Alan Smith made his first appearance of the year as a second half substitute. Smith came on for Morgan O’Flaherty in the final 25 minutes. It was his first appearances since limping out of the Leinster club championship semi-final between Sarsfields and Ballymun Kickhams last November. Smith was Kildare’s top scorer from play in the championship last year. Like Flynn and Callaghan, Smith needs to work on his general fitness before he can really stake his case for a place in the starting line up.
Others included among the subs on Sunday were long-term knee-injury victims Dermot Earley and Hugh Lynch. Both are in full training and were available for selection on Sunday. Lynch had originally been named in the starting line up but was replaced by Morgan O’Flaherty – that was a tactical switch that had nothing to do with any previous injury.
Reserve goalkeeper Robbie Eyres has also returned to fitness in recent weeks as has Carbury’s Willie Groome. Indeed, the only player involved in the senior panel at the moment who is not able to train is Naas’ Conor Mellet who tweaked knee ligaments but he should be back in action in the next couple of weeks.