DONEGAL manager Declan Bonner says his squad is in a ‘reasonably healthy’ position as inter-county actions resumes this weekend after a seven-month hiatus.
Donegal host Tyrone on Sunday at Sean Mac Cumhaill Park in their penultimate Allianz League game of 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the shutters being pulled down in March. Back then, when Bonner last addressed the assembled media, his squad had quite a few walking wounded.
The long lay-off has enabled several players return to fitness again, although a recent Covid-19 outbreak saw Donegal have to close down for two weeks.
Jamie Brennan was a doubt for the March match, owing to a dead leg he’d sustained against Dublin a couple of weeks earlier, but he has long since been flying fit again.
Oisin Gallen, Jason McGee and Paddy McGrath were long-term injuries in the spring, but are all back in the frame again ahead of Sunday’s meeting.
“It’s much improved,” Bonner said today in a remote press briefing.
“We have everyone back on the training ground. It takes a bit of time to readjust to the county set-up, as there is a step-up in standard. All guys are back in at present.
“We are working off the squad we had. Our last league game was against Monaghan in Ballyshannon and we had a few on long-terms but they’re back in and that has freshened up the squad. We’re in a reasonably healthy position.”
A 12-week suspension to goalkeeper Michael Lynch over issues regarding a proposed transfer to Gaoth Dobhair is over at midnight on Saturday meaning he will be be able to take his place in the match day panel on Sunday.
One definite absentee will be Conor Morrison, who sustained a horror knee injury during St Eunan’s Donegal SFC win over Killybegs in mid-August.
The Letterkenny man has begun the long road to recover on rehabilitation from the injury to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Bonner said: ”It’s a blow for us and for Conor. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
Bonner kept a close eye on the club championships over the last couple of months.
While the Na Rossa man has pin-pointed some players who could be drafted in, that group will be geared towards future campaigns.
Bonner said: “There will be a number of players we will look at and we have looked at lads over the last few weeks and there’s lads form the Under-20 set-up that we’ll look at over the winter months.
“We have to keep things tight in terms of numbers at the minute so that’ll be for 2021.”
Donegal played challenge games on the last two weekends, losing to Mayo before defeating Roscommon.
Bonner said: “We don’t know where we’re at. We had a couple of challenge games, but it’s seven months since we played competitive action.”Tags: