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Derry are in no hurry to fill McIver's big boots

By John Campbell

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice has stated that he fully expects Tyrone's Tiernan McCann to have his proposed eight-week suspension overturned in time to play in the All-Ireland semi-final between the sides on Sunday week.

Speaking at the Kerry press night at the Brehon Hotel in Killarney, the 2014 All-Ireland winning manager expressed sympathy for how McCann's plight has played out since he took a dive against Monaghan in the All-Ireland quarter-final and all the criticism that has followed.

"There's been a lot made out of it this week," Fitzmaurice commented.

"I feel sorry for Tiernan McCann on a personal level. We all make mistakes, these things happen. In one way I'll be surprised if he doesn't play Sunday week.

"Like I said he's been a fantastic player in the qualifier games and in particular he's been outstanding for Tyrone, getting better with each game and especially the last day against Monaghan.

"I think there's a good chance we'll end up seeing him Sunday week somehow."

Tyrone officials have lodged an appeal and his hearing is expected to take place this weekend.

Fitzmaurice all but ruled 2014 Player of the Year James O'Donoghue out of the running for significant gametime against the Red Hands.

He stated that the Killarney Legion man has been doing one-on-one rehab work with the physios, but is yet to return to full contact training.

They suffered a further injury blow this week with the loss of attacker Mikey Geaney, who is out with a back injury for the rest of the season.

Fitzmaurice also revealed that Aidan O'Mahony has missed a couple of training sessions, as he was getting married in the last 24 hours.

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