Down captain Darren O'Hagan confident he will be fit for crunch clash with Galway
DOWN have received a boost ahead of this weekend’s crunch Division Two clash with Galway as captain Darren O’Hagan expects to be available for selection.
There were worried faces around Pairc Esler on Saturday night when the Clonduff clubman had to be helped from the field in the dying minutes of Down’s defeat to Kildare.
After initial fears that he could have broken a bone in his lower leg, O’Hagan confirmed yesterday that he had been given the all clear after an x-ray and said he hoped to play against the Tribesmen on Sunday.
“Everything’s grand, there’s just a wee bit of stiffness,” he said.
“There was a worry that the fibia had gone. I was fit to walk on it after but they were just weary so they wanted to get it seen to just in case.
“It’s bruising and swelling down into the shin but it’ll be grand for the weekend hopefully.”
Following Saturday’s defeat, the Mournemen are in desperate need of points if they are to avoid a second successive relegation.
Having O’Hagan fit is good news for boss Eamonn Burns, who will also hope to have full-back Gerard McGovern available for the Galway game.
A shoulder injury forced the Burren man-marker off early against Derry 16 days ago, and he missed out on the clash with the Lilywhites.
“Gerard trained all week. He’s got a shoulder injury and isn’t ready for football yet but he’s making very good progress to be fair,” said Burns after last Saturday’s game.
Asked if McGovern could return against Kevin Walsh’s side, Burns replied: “Possibly. We’ll see.”
Galway currently sit in second place behind Kildare at the top of Division Two, and blasted five goals past basement dwellers Derry in Tuam on Sunday.
With Down locked on four points with Fermanagh and Cork, a point ahead of Dam Barton’s struggling Oak Leafs, victory in Newry this weekend would ease the pressure ahead of their final game away to the Rebels.
Burns continued: “A win tonight would’ve been a massive help to us. It’s a setback and we have to dust ourselves down for Galway and go again.
“Galway will ask different questions but we’ll have a look at them during the week and see where we are. It’s a home game for us so we’ll be looking something out of it.”