Karl McKaigue could miss league campaign

Slaughtneil back Karl McKaigue look set to miss the majority of Derry’s Division Three campaign after being ruled out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 2:00 pm
Slaughtneil's Karl McKaigue.

McKaigue was ruled out of the Oak Leafers’ league opener against Leitrim after suffering the injury at training last week with manager Rory Gallagher revealing he’s not expecting him back in the short term.

“Karl has been a miss and it doesn’t look like he’s going to play in the short-term,” revealed the Derry manager, “He just went over on his ankle, it was so innocuous, but it looks like he could be out for a period of four, five or six weeks. That’s the way it is.”

The loss of McKaigue is a blow ahead of this week’s trip to Newry to face a Down side who also drew their opener but there was also positive news with a potential return for Padraig Cassidy and Niall Loughlin while Shane McGuigan did enough in a second half cameo to suggest he may feature from the start.

“Niall Loughlin and Paudie Cassidy won’t be far away,” added Gallagher, “Shane (McGuigan) got a few minutes. He had trouble with his hamstring but looked sharp when he came in. We felt he was only recovering and there was only the 25 or 30 minutes without risking fatigue. We don’t want a situation where we put him out for the rest of the league. As much as we wanted to win that was the medical advice.

“Niall and Shane would be massive additions up front and hopefully Paudie (Cassidy) as well.”

Looking at the Down game, Gallagher said it was always going to be a big test, regardless of the opening day results.

“It was always going to be huge. I see very few leagues that run in straight lines. It’s up and down. We know even if we’d won by a point or by 10 (against Leitrim), we’d have to dig our heels and get ready for Newry.”