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Injury blow for Limerick defender

Limerick manager John Kiely is set to be without full-back Mike Casey against Clare in the Munster SHC opener on October 25

Limerick manager John Kiely is set to be without injured full-back Mike Casey against Clare in the Munster SHC opener on October 25.

Fears are growing that Limerick full-back Mike Casey could be out for the championship after suffering a leg injury in a challenge match against Galway.

The Na Piarsaigh man was crucial for his club as they regained their county title with a thumping final win over Doon in recent weeks.

Now, John Kiely may have to plan for the 2020 winter championship without his number three — with Casey apparently picking up a knock at the weekend.

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The defender is a huge doubt for the Munster opener with Limerick on October 25, and there are concerns that he may even have suffered a dreaded cruciate knee injury.

Limerick secretary Mike O’Riordan could not confirm the extent of the injury, but explained that the player had been hurt during the game.

The upcoming clash with their Shannonside neighbours will double up as the league final, with Kiely’s men looking to retain a crown they claimed last year for the first time since 1997.

Casey has been a massive player for the county in recent seasons, nailing down his spot in the full-back line where he took over from Seamus Hickey in 2018.

The 24-year-old was nominated for an All Star that season, and had forged an exceptional last line of defence alongside Sean Finn and Richie English.

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The latter suffered a cruciate knee injury earlier in 2020, and it remains to be seen if the Doon man has recovered sufficiently to feature in the championship.

All of which means the injury to Casey further narrows Kiely’s defensive options coming into the delayed season.

Aaron Costello was given significant game time during the league games that were played at the start of the year, with the Kilmallock man impressing.

Finn has been a guaranteed starter based on his form in recent seasons, while Paddy O’Loughlin or Barry Nash may come into contention for a starting spot at wing-back — allowing Dan Morrissey to slip back into number three.

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