Cork captain Cusack looks set to miss rest of season23/04/2012 - 07:31:49
It was the simplest of saves for a goalkeeper as able and as experienced as Cork’s Donal Óg Cusack, reaching overhead to bring down a point-bound shot from David Young.
But it could have very serious consequences. Stretchered off to a loud ovation, the initial news on the Cork captain isn’t good, as outlined by manager Jimmy Barry Murphy after the Allianz Hurling League semi-final yesterday.
"He’s getting an examination tomorrow, but it looks like he is out for the summer, Dr Con [Murphy, long-time Cork team doctor] has just told me he is gone to Dublin and it looks like an Achilles tendon problem," said Barry-Murphy.
"It’s tragic, very disappointing, shattering for himself. We’re all disappointed for him. He’s been a great captain for us, a great leader for the players in the dressing-room, so it’s very, very disappointing from that point of view."
That influence was confirmed by Cork centre-back Eoin Cadogan. "It’s hugely disappointing to see our leader and captain sidelined for a couple of weeks, maybe more. The character that guy has inside in the dressing-room and in training, you can be sure everyone inside in that dressing-room wants to push it on for him."
Even at half-time, beginning to understand the seriousness of his injury (the same injury that has kept Munster’s star winger Dougie Howlett out for this season), Barry-Murphy said Donal Óg was more concerned for the team than for himself.
"At half-time when I went into the room to see him he told me ‘go away and look after the players. Don’t mind about me’. Cork hurling is all that matters, drive on with the team."
If Cusack is ruled out for the season Kanturk’s Anthony Nash, who replaced Cusack yesterday in Thurles, appears to be in pole position to take over the season. He didn’t do his chances any harm with a fine save in the final minutes, to go with an earlier booming pointed free from inside his own 45m line.
Vice-captain Patrick Horgan will take over the captaincy, for the moment at least.
This story courtesy of the Irish Examiner
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