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Kilkenny duo may be out for the season

Nickey Brennan reveals the potential injury crisis in Kilkenny which could cause manager Derek Lyng headaches for the remainder of the season, with Adrian Mullen and Mikey Butler now huge concerns.

Kilkenny boss Derek Lyng is sweating on the availability of both Adrian Mullen and Mikey Butler for the Leinster final and the remainder of the season.

The Ballyhale Shamrocks forward suffered a suspected fracture to his thumb and was taken to Waterford Hospital on Sunday as Wexford beat The Cats.

Butler, the reigning Young Hurler of the Year, left the dressing room on crutches and, like Mullen, is now a potential absentee for the Leinster final against Galway on June 11.

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As the duo undergo furthers test and wait to see how their knocks settle, manager Lyng may face to prospect of undergoing the remainder of this condensed season without their services.

The All-Ireland final is on July 23, meaning there are just 61 days (eight weeks and five days) until the Liam MacCarthy Cup has been handed out for 2023.

Another injury concern for The Cats is Martin Keoghan who pulled up with a hamstring in Wexford, and he faces a race to be ready for Henry Shefflin’s Tribe in two weeks’ time.

All three aforementioned players had to be withdrawn by the 25th minute, resulting in a reshuffling of the deck by Lyng.

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Richie Reid missed the Models loss as he is still recovering from concussion, while Paddy Deegan was also not risked — both are expected to return for the provincial decider.

Niall Moran was on Monday’s Show talking about the “microwave” nature of the season, and these Kilkenny absences underline the issue.

The Cats have two weeks to get some of their key players back for the Leinster final, will be back in action 13 days later if they lose, or three weeks later should they win.

Given how long certain knocks can take to come right, and the likelihood of further injuries in the meantime, there is a high chance of big teams missing big players in the biggest games.

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This may soon force the GAA into a rethink of how the season in scheduled, with host Shane Stapleton asking why we won’t cut the league in half to free up space.

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