Newly appointed Clare Senior Hurling managers Donal Moloney and Gerry O’Connor are to be without two key players for the start of their tenure.
Conor McGrath and David McInerney look set to miss the entire National Hurling League campaign which is a crushing blow for the side as they aim to defend the national title won for the first time in thirty eight years in 2016.
Cratloe’s McGrath sustained a shoulder injury in the Clare SHC semi-final defeat to Clonlara two weeks ago. He is to undergo an operation on his shoulder this week. There is a six month layoff period following the procedure.
After suffering with a back complaint for the majority of the County’s 2016 campaign, David McInerney is to take an extended break stemming on the advice of a back specialist. The 2013 All-Star missed the crunch stage of the National League campaign in Davy Fitzgerald’s final year in charge but returned for the latter stages of the championship.
He has been advised to take a break from hurling to allow his injury to heal. The Tulla man is currently travelling as part of his rest and recovery phase. David is not expected to return to the Clare lineup until April 2017.
Podge Collins has yet to decide whether he will be playing football or hurling with the county for the year ahead. The Cratloe clubman announced recently that he was only playing one code in 2017, when asked by RTÉ’s Joanne Cantwell on Thursday evening he commented “Cratloe is my priority for the moment”.