GAA Football

Karl Lacey back but Eoin McHugh out for Donegal GAA's Dublin clash

Karl Lacey should be available for Donegal against Dublin this weekend after illness ruled him out against Monaghan. Picture by Seamus Loughran

DONEGAL should have Karl Lacey back for next weekend's Division One semi-final against Dublin but Eoin McHugh is almost certainly ruled out.

Lacey played against the Dubs in round six but missed out on the last-gasp last round defeat in Monaghan due to illness, explained manager Rory Gallagher:

"He came down with a wee bug. Even on Saturday he thought he might be OK. He did a bit of training on Thursday night, didn't feel too bad, but on Friday he was in bed all day. Sunday morning it was `no go' so we just left him at home."

Kilcar lad McHugh had to be helped off the pitch in Castleblayney midway through the second half but Gallagher was happy that the injury was not too serious, although it will still surely rule him out of the Croke Park clash:

"He nicked his hamstring. They're saying it's not too bad, it's at the lower end of the scale. Look, he'll be out for a couple of weeks but if you could pick a time of year [to be injured]…

"Fitness isn't an issue for him, he's naturally very athletic and fit. He was playing well as well, we thought he had a very good first half."

As for his number one selection, Gallagher confirmed that discussions are continuing with Qatar-based Paul Durcan about his ability to come home to play for his county.

`Big Papa' did fly home to help his Dublin club Ballyboden St Enda's win the All-Ireland Club Senior Football Championship and Gallagher understandably would like Donegal's star keeper of recent years to be available this summer.

However, Gallagher is also content that he has good options if Durcan is not involved, saying:

"We've spoken, we'll see again over the next couple of weeks. He's trying to see at his end, he doesn't know himself.

"We had Mark Anthony [McGinley] in there and I thought he was excellent, his kick-outs were top class. Peter Boyle has done very well as well and we'll have Michael Boyle back. Obviously we'd love to have Paul back, but it's one position that I feel we have fairly adequate cover for".

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