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Crossmaglen duo, James Morgan and Ronan Finnegan, will return but face hard battle

By John Campbell

Crossmaglen Rangers manager Joe Kernan and his squad are coming to terms with the fact that they will be without two key players for the foreseeable future.

James Morgan and Ronan Finnegan sustained serious injuries in a car accident in the early hours of Sunday morning and are expected to undergo further medical treatment before commencing lengthy rehab programmes.

The players were passengers in a car which was involved in a collision on the outskirts of Castleblayney and were taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Finnegan, who sustained back and shoulder injuries, was discharged on Wednesday but Morgan was due to undergo surgery for a hip injury and had also suffered an arm injury.

Morgan was only recently introduced to the Armagh side by manager Paul Grimley and played in the All-Ireland qualifiers against Wicklow, Leitrim and Galway.

Grimley states that GAA followers everywhere will wish to see the Rangers duo return to full health.

"This is a terrible happening," says Grimley. "I have been down to see the players in hospital.

"We may have lost an All-Ireland qualifier to Galway on Saturday but the injuries the lads received put everything else to the bottom of the barrel.

"It's important that we all keep a sense of perspective on things and this helps us to do just that. I hope they make a full recovery as soon as possible.

"All Armagh fans and indeed followers everywhere will wish them well in their recovery."

The two players are expected to miss the initial stages of the Armagh Championship which the Rangers have dominated for the last 16 years but no-one in Crossmaglen is focusing too strongly on the club's prospects.

"There is just relief that the players were not more seriously injured," says secretary Gerard Rushe.

"It could have been much worse. These are two fine young defenders and the hope is they will make a speedy return to full health. Our thoughts are with them and their families as they deal with a very unfortunate situation," he adds.

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