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Former Hurler of the Year edging towards Tipperary return

Séamus Callanan is set to return for Liam Cahill’s Premier side as clash with old rivals Kilkenny looms large

Séamus Callanan is expected to make his first appearance of the season for Tipperary over the coming weeks as Premier boss Liam Cahill takes the wraps off the former Hurler of the Year.

Callanan, like many of his Tipp colleagues, had a forgetful 2022 with injury keeping him on the sidelines throughout the Munster SHC but the 34-year-old is edging towards a return.

“Séamie is working behind the scenes with us in training, working really hard, and I’d expect to hopefully see Séamie over the next couple of weeks,” Cahill said after their 20-point League victory over Laois last Saturday.

Cahill was delighted with the form of another veteran, Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher, as the Lorrha-Dorrha attacker got through a mountain of work up front but he will be without the injured Ger Browne for the season ahead.

“Bonner retains all his energy and enthusiasm that he had since the first day he joined. He’s a big leader in our dressing room and he shows that on the field as well,” Cahill said before revealing Browne’s injury status.

“We’re very happy to get Bonner back onto the field and get good quality hurling into him. Ger unfortunately has a recurring, ongoing knee issue. When we investigated it further during the week, it showed up that it’ll require surgery.

“Unfortunate for Ger and unfortunate for us as well that Ger will likely miss the remainder of the season through that injury. Very disappointing news but Ger is very young and he’s a guy who will be back very soon when he gets that sorted out.”

Tipp clocked up 2-32 against the Moore men, managed by Cahill’s Ballingarry clubmate Willie Maher, but the former All-Star is well aware that much bigger challenges await, starting this Sunday against old rivals Kilkenny in Nowlan Park.

“We’ve a healthy competition at the moment but we have lots of tests coming. Obviously a big one next weekend in Nowlan Park with our near neighbours in Kilkenny and then we go from there to take on Dublin and Waterford as the League progresses,” Cahill said.

“It’ll be a typical Kilkenny and Tipperary encounter in Nowlan Park. There’ll be nothing spared by both sides and I think both players and both sets of management will be hoping to get as much as they can out of the game.”

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