Cushendall's Arron Graffin "still pushing" to feature in All-Ireland semi-final against St Thomas's

Cushendall's Arron Graffin, pictured at the final whistle of last November's Ulster final, is hoping to be fit for their All-Ireland semi-final Picture Seamus Loughran

CUSHENDALL defender Arron Graffin is facing a race against time to be fit for his club’s All-Ireland senior hurling semi-final against Galway champions St Thomas's at Parnell Park on February 9.

The teak-tough corner-back suffered a dislocated knee during the Ruairi Ogs’ Ulster final win over Ballycran back in November.

“The game is in two-and-a-half weeks’ time,” Graffin said at Wednesday night’s press night.

“It could come a week or two too early but all I can do is keep pushing. I’m doing great work with my physio Ally McKeown. He knows my history well and I’m great mates with him, so it’s session by session at the minute.”

It’s the fourth time Graffin has sustained knee dislocations in his career – three to his right and one to his left.

“I’ve been told it might be a genetic thing. My mother, sister and brother have had knee dislocations before, but I'm not exactly sure why it's happened so many times.”

Ruairi Og manager Eamonn Gillan, however, insists the experienced defender will make the semi-final.

“He wants to be there and he will be there,” said Gillan.

Full-back Martin Burke tweaked his knee but is hoping to be fit for the club’s second All-Ireland semi-final in three years.

Meanwhile, imposing full-forward Conor Carson is expected to be available for the February 9 clash in Dublin. Carson is currently training to be a pilot with Aer Lingus and is stationed in Spain.

“Conor came back at Christmas and he was back for a match last week,” said Gillan.

“He’ll definitely feature in the semi-final. He’s out in Spain and he’s training on his own. He’s a very experienced hurler and we’ll need everybody available to us.”

The Antrim and Ulster champions are leaving no stone unturned for their crack at this year’s All-Ireland having played Cork, Wexford and Kilkenny in warm-up games.

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