Cavan boss Graham reveals injury concerns ahead of Tyrone clash
CAVAN manager Mickey Graham revealed yesterday that several of his players are struggling to shake off injuries, less than three weeks out from the first defence of their Ulster title against Tyrone.
A huge loss has already been confirmed by the season-ending cruciate injury that has robbed the Breffnimen of exciting wing-back Ciaran Brady.
Others may lose their race against time to be ready for the Healy Park clash on July 10, according to Graham.
“We're carrying a few knocks at the minute. James Smith is carrying a knock, Gerry Smith, Jason McLoughlin, Niall Murray and obviously Ciaran Brady as well,” he said.
“So with the short turnaround it's going to be difficult to get those boys ready, with the lack of matches, to get them up to speed.
“We're just playing it week by week and hopefully we'll not pick up any more.”
A League win against Longford last month wasn't enough to save the Ulster champions from a relegation play-off and their subsequent drop to Division Four of the Allianz Football League, but that game also saw the loss of key man Brady to a serious knee injury.
“Ciaran has been one of our most consistent players this last two years, a real leader, a real driving force. He's a huge loss, playing really well,” said Graham.
“His presence as well was huge, he's a great character around the squad. Look it, it's an opportunity for somebody else to step up and fill his boots, and there's a lot of lads there capable of doing that.
“At this stage it's all about getting Ciaran fixed up and ready for action next year.”
Cavan's record against Tyrone is another factor that Graham will have to address in preparation for the trip to Omagh.
“Tyrone have probably been Cavan's bogey team for the last 20-odd years.
“I don't think Cavan have beaten them in competitive championship in a long, long time. They're a quality side, a top four or five side in the country.”