By Michael McMullan
SLEACHT NÉILL hurling manager Michael McShane is “not ruling out” vice-captain Brendan Rogers’ involvement in Sunday week’s Derry SHC final with Kevin Lynch’s.
Rogers hasn’t played in any of the club’s football or hurling games since fracturing a bone in his wrist on football league duty against Lavey six weeks ago.
The dual star went through an operation earlier this week, but McShane still rates Rogers as “50-50” to line out as the Emmet’s bid for a 10th successive hurling title.
“I am not ruling him out,” McShane told Gaelic Life. “He had a procedure to tidy up an injury he had with his wrist.
It has probably made him 50-50 at the minute and the good thing about Brendan is that he is a great healer. He has had injuries in the past and has always came back well ahead of schedule.”
Rogers was central to Derry’s Ulster football success and has been shortlisted for an All-Star.
Sleacht Néill face Claudy in the Senior Football Championship this weekend and it’s highly unlikely Rogers’ will feature, with McShane giving him until Sunday week to prove his fitness.
“If Brendan declares himself fit, he will be playing. He is a very important player for us, he is leader and he is an exceptional hurler,” the Emmet’s boss said.
“I think it is only right we give him that chance to be able to play, I wouldn’t rate it any more or any less than 50-50.
“Fingers crossed he can make it, but if not, we have come this far in the Derry Championship without him.”
McShane hailed the young players stepping up from the u-19 winning team for driving competition within the squad, with former Derry captain Sean ‘Tad’ Cassidy having a recent full reserve game under his belt.
Seán Ó Caiside is also back in full contact training after his recovery from a second cruciate ligament injury giving the management plenty of selection options.
Sleacht Néill were comfortable winners over Ballinascreen in their semi-final with Kevin Lynch’s were pushed to the pin of their collar in a one-point win over Swatragh.