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GALWAY are hoping against hope that Damien Comer has avoided a serious knee injury after the All Star forward was stretchered off during today’s Allianz Football League defeat to Roscommon.
A bad day for manager Pádraic Joyce was compounded by Division 1 defeat at the death, with their Connacht rivals landing the last five points including a Richard Hughes winner deep in stoppage time to claim a 0-9 to 0-8 victory.
But much of the post-match debate was dominated by enquiries about Comer’s well-being after he appeared to land awkwardly in the Roscommon goalmouth while contesting a high ball punched clear by ‘keeper Conor Carroll.
It quickly became apparent that the prostrate Comer was in some distress, and play was held up for over five minutes before he was stretchered off, to warm applause from supporters in Pearse Stadium.
“I’m not a doctor. He has to go for a scan to see but it doesn’t look good,” Joyce revealed afterwards.
“There will in [injuries] in Division 1 against teams that are chiselled and in great shape, so there is going to be contact and you are going to pick up a few knocks here and there. Damien’s looks like a knee injury; hopefully it’s not overly bad and he plays some part in the league yet.”
Galway are obviously hoping to avoid the worst-case scenario of a cruciate injury but, even presuming the diagnosis is relatively positive, Galway now face a period of several weeks at least without the entire full-forward line that featured in last year’s All-Ireland final.
Rob Finnerty suffered ankle ligament damage after being caught by a late tackle in the act of scoring a point in their opening league stalemate away to Mayo. Meanwhile, Footballer of the Year nominee Shane Walsh is currently travelling overseas in the wake of Kilmacud’s All-Ireland club success, and a likely league return date has yet to be revealed.
Joyce suggested that Finnerty’s ankle injury is likely to keep him sidelined for “four to six weeks”, adding: “We are down them guys but it gives other guys a chance to see can they step up. We have to keep at it, we can’t make excuses for the guys we don’t have. Develop a squad.
“We were accused last year of having no depth in the squad, so this gives us a chance to develop some lads.”