Harte not rushing back Doherty

By Michael McMullan

DERRY manager Mickey Harte will be taking advice before deciding on Conor Doherty’s return to action.

The Newbridge man played every minute of Derry’s season until a knee injury forced him off before half-time of their victory over Galway in Salthill.

A scan revealed the injury wasn’t as serious as initially feared but again missed out on Derry’s win over Mayo in Castlebar, a venue where he made his senior debut as an extra-time replacement for Benny Heron in Derry’s 2017 Qualifier defeat.

“He is hopeful enough and he is happy with his recovery,” Harte told Gaelic Life. “We thought it was too early to be putting it to the test today.

“We’ll see how it goes this week at training. He is mad to get playing of course but we’ll take the medical advice.”

Emmett Bradley also missed out on Sunday’s win following a knock picked up late in Derry’s defeat against Dublin.

Bradley opted out of the inter-county scene last season but took up the invitation to re-join the squad after helping Glen to All-Ireland glory.

“He has been injured and hasn’t been in full training for a few weeks,” Harte said of Bradley’s progress.

The Derry boss cleared up any concerns over Gareth McKinless being replaced after kicking his 42nd-minute point against Mayo.

Like goalkeeper Odhrán Lynch, McKinless was back in action for the first time since the win over Tyrone and Harte explained the All-Star wasn’t factored in for playing a full game.

“We were going to make it (the substitution) because he is only back and we weren’t going to give him any more than maybe 10 minutes into the second half,” he explained, stating McKinless didn’t pull up in the process of scoring.

“We decided we’d make that move rather than having any recurrence of his injury. No, it (hamstring) didn’t (go) but he was conscious of it.”

Swatragh’s Oisin McWilliams, a prominent impact sub under Rory Gallagher, faces a lengthy spell on the sideline following an operation after aggravating a leg injury from last season.

Martin Bradley, who picked up an ankle injury in the days before the Dublin game, is set to be out of contention in the coming weeks. After impressing for Ballinascreen, he was called into the squad only for an earlier injury to keep him out of the McKenna Cup.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW