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Karl Lacey loses fitness race to play in Galway tie

By Declan Bogue

Karl Lacey, the 2012 Player of the Year, will play no part in Donegal's round four qualifier against Galway this weekend, manager Rory Gallagher has confirmed.

Lacey was taken off early in the second half of the Ulster final against Monaghan, having suffered a knock to the knee.

"He has a bit of knee ligament damage," Gallagher told The Belfast Telegraph.

"As injuries go, it's not serious, he doesn't need surgery or anything like that.

"He can rehab it himself but for next Saturday, it's just going to be too tight. He won't be ready for that.

"We can't say at this stage how long it will be, it won't be long, long term, but we will expect him back before five weeks.

"It's just how he recovers day by day."

Gallagher is wary of the threat posed by Galway, who come into this encounter on the back of two impressive wins over Ulster opposition in Armagh and Derry, while Donegal have been busy getting over the hurt of losing their provincial title.

Gallagher believes there are noticeable differences with this Galway team, explaining: "They are more physical than the teams that people would associate Galway with. They play a traditional style of football but they have adapted their game for Armagh and Derry.

"In some ways they have adapted their game to the Ulster team and been more defensively-minded than they were against Mayo," he added.

It has become customary for Round Four games to now be played as part of double headers, and it means Donegal will be back on the pitch they are extremely familiar with.

"I think from the supporters point of view it might be a little bit frustrating that the game is in Croke Park," the Belleek man noted.

"But I think the boys are delighted, it's where you want to be and they would be looking to play in the bigger, wider spaces."

Should Donegal win, they would face Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

Belfast Telegraph


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