As Kilkenny’s senior hurlers head into another break weekend in the Allianz Hurling League, manager Derek Lyng has provided an update on some of the county’s key names.
With a number of Ballyhale Shamrocks’ club All-Ireland winners returning to action in recent weeks, including Eoin Cody and Richie Reid against Laois this past weekend, Cats fans will be happy to hear that the duo of TJ Reid and Adrian Mullen are edging closer to a return to competitive action. The same goes for Richie Hogan, last seen taking to the field for Kilkenny in the closing stages of last year’s All-Ireland final defeat to Limerick.
At present, there are over 40 players knocking on the door of the Kilkenny panel for the 2023 championship season and while that number is likely to be pared back to 26 in the coming weeks, there are still more names set to return.
“We have a serious battle for 26 now for the next few weeks, and that’s what we want. It’s going to be hard on lads and we’ll look for really good training sessions now and hopefully get stronger from it”, Lyng told KCLR this week.
“Richie (Hogan) would have been back a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, he had a bit of a strained hamstring and that ruled him out for a few weeks. He’s after putting in a huge effort.
“TJ is the same. Really, it’s the latter stages of the league, going with the medical team on that. I’m happy to do that as well. Looking at TJ we’ll be lucky to have him before the end of the league.”
“Adrian is probably the end of the league as well. He’s training really hard, he still has a bit to go before he’s back to playing and hoping in the next two or three weeks he can really kick on. He might be in a position – possibly – for the last league match. That’s best case. Other than that it would be a few weeks either side (of the last league match).
“Players coming back like that, they’re only going to strengthen the panel and that’s what we want.”
Kilkenny have a break in the Allianz Hurling League this weekend before hosting Dublin in just under a fortnight’s time.