The Laois senior footballers have received a boost with the news that Niall Donoher has returned to fitness.
The Courtwood man was forced off in the first half a months ago in the Leinster championship quarter final defeat against Kildare with a muscle injury.
He was subsequently ruled out of the win over Wicklow through injury with his place on the team going to David Conway.
The forward may have a hard job ahead to dislodge the Arles-Kilcruise man from the starting 15 though as he kicked a point and was a real live wire from start to finish in the Wicklow win having impressed in challenge games against Louth and Wexford before that.
But Donoher played in Courtwood’s 2-20 to 0-10 Division 2 win over Ballyfin on Saturday evening, a result which put his club into the league semi-final.
And even if he doesn’t make the starting 15 on Saturday afternoon, Donoher will be a very strong substitute for manager Peter Creedon to have at his disposal.
LaoisToday understands that there is less promising news over the fitness of Denis Booth who missed the win over Wicklow with a hip problem.
He is now in a race against time and should he not make it, Graiguecullen’s Mark Timmons will most likely remain at full back for the game.
There are also injury concerns over Evan O’Carroll and Brendan Quigley, both of whom left the field early in Aughrim two weeks ago.
The Timahoe midfielder departed with a head injury but it is hoped that he will be fit. But the Crettyard forward limped off with a hamstring injury so it remains to be seen if that can clear up in time.
Laois face Clare in Round 2 of the All-Ireland Qualifiers at 3pm in O’Moore Park on Saturday afternoon.