Laois manager Peter Creedon is sweating over the fitness of key players less than three weeks’ before his side’s Leinster championship opener.
Donie Kingston, Pádraig McMahon and John O’Loughlin have all emerged as injury doubts after the trio were hurt in recent club games.
Laois’s highest scorer in the league Kingston picked up an ankle injury playing for Arles-Killeen against the Heath two weeks’ ago.
Pádraig McMahon is struggling with a quad problem while O’Loughlin picked up a groin injury playing for St Brigid’s in their 0-14 to 1-7 win over St Peregrine’s in the Dublin Senior football championship.
Speaking to LaoisToday, manager Peter Creedon provided an injury update.
He said: “We trained very hard since the end of the league. The boys came back on the Tuesday after the Offaly defeat and they worked very well.
“We upped the training and the boys pushed on. Unfortunately though, we have picked up some more injuries.
“Donie picked up an ankle injury during the club fixtures while John O’Loughlin picked up a knock to his groin.
“Pádraig McMahon has a quad problem as well but we are hoping that will come right. But look, touch wood all of them will be ok before the game against Longford.”
It wasn’t all bad news on the injury front however, as Creedon revealed that his captain Stephen Attride has returned to full training after sustaining an ankle injury during the league.
So too have Mark Timmons and Brendan Quigley, a pair who missed the entirety of the season thus far.
He said: “Brendan is fine. He has been playing all of the games since the league finished so he will be ready to go please god.
“Mark Timmons is back and has played a couple of games for his club while Stephen is fully ready to go again.
“Danny O’Reilly is really busy with work commitments – as all trades people are at this time of year.
“So we are keeping him on a weights programme and he links in with us when he can. He is a good guy and you want to keep him involved.”
Since Laois’s defeat to Offaly at the beginning of April, Creedon’s side have been involved in a number of challenge games against the likes of Sligo and Carlow while they will face Clare this weekend.
Laois won both of those games and Creedon was happy with how his side performed.
He said: “We had a big win over Sligo and we played really well there. The Carlow game was at the back end of a hard week’s training and we dug out a good result.
“We gave game time to 26 lads as well so that helped.
“We will play another two games before Longford now and that will be it.”
Looking back on the league campaign, Creedon admits that his side can have no qualms about being relegated as they simply were not good enough.
But looking forward to Longford, one of two sides that Laois managed to beat in Division 3, Creedon is optimistic.
He said: “Look we may have been missing players at various stages during the league but it is no excuse for what happened.
“We had enough lads available to do the job but we just didn’t play well enough. So we really have to bring a performance against Longford.
“If you win that game, you don’t know where you will go. Confidence is a massive thing.
“It is a complete 50-50 game. Longford have done very well in championship in recent years.
“They took the scalps of Monaghan and Down last year which is no mean feat and they pushed Cork all the way.
“So they are probably ahead of us in that regard. But look if we don’t bring a performance we won’t do well but if we do, we will be well there.
“There’s a saying in GAA that after a couple of championship games, the league is quickly forgotten about and I think the last 12 or last 8 is a realistic ambition.”
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