MICHAEL Conroy is in line to start the All-Ireland SFC final against Dublin on Sunday week, The Connaught Telegraph has learned.
Despite missing most of the campaign due to a bizarre series of injury setbacks, the Davitts attacker heads the queue to fill the right corner-forward berth in the event of manager James Horan not being prepared to gamble on the fitness of Cillian O’Connor for the encounter.
While every effort is being made to ensure O’Connor recovers in time from the third dislocation of his left shoulder in the space of 11 months, there is an element of risk in starting the prolific Ballintubber forward who is just five points short of being the top marksman in the series.
The game is widely expected to be a crucial one for the Mayo forward line, not only in respect of exploiting scoring opportunities but also being alert to Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton’s kick-outs.
Irrespective of the concerns over the O’Connor injury and Andy Moran’s form, Horan is expected to name the same team which started the semifinal win over Tyrone, but a question mark will remain over the No. 13 position right up to the morning of the match.
The Mayo boss will be ultimately swayed on O’Connor’s fitness by the advice of his medical team, headed by Dr. Sean Moffatt.
And if it is deemed too much of a gamble to start the Ballintubber ace, or that the player himself could sustain long-term damage by playing, then Conroy will get the nod. It would represent an ironic turn of fate for the highly-rated Davitts star who was ruled out for most of the championship himself due to injuries.