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Published: 11:17 | 1/8/16

Cooper & Buckley boost for Kerry

Colm Cooper and Johnny Buckley will be available for Kerry’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final against either Dublin or Donegal at the end of August.

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice says the the Dr Crokes pair, who missed the Kingdom’s 2-16 to 0-11 quarter-final victory over Clare on Sunday through injury, will be fit for the Croke Park showpiece on 28 August.

Cooper damaged his shoulder ligaments during Kerry's Munster Final victory over Tipperary on 3 July, while Buckley has an unspecified injury.

“We hope Colm will be back training next week, so yeah he’s good. We could have forced the issue but he wasn’t 100% right,” said Fitzmaurice.

"Generally unless it’s an emergency situation, we don’t force the lads into action until they’re ready to go. He’s following the programme he’s had since the Munster final and he’ll be ready to go at the end of next week and that’s always been the target.

"Johnny’s the same. He’ll be ready to go at the end of next week so he’s another fella that’s made good progress in the last two weeks in particular."

Munster champions Kerry beat Clare, Tipperary and Clare again to make the last four of the All-Ireland, but Fitzmaurice says the season gets serious now for the Kingdom with a tie against holders Dublin or 2012 champions Donegal.

"With all the talk about our side of the draw and how it easy it was, the way it is now is that the three teams that are left on our side have won the last five All-Irelands between them," he continued.

"So there's heavyweights on this side of the draw from now on in. Dublin and Donegal will be a big game and whoever comes through will be a serious challenge to us.

"If Donegal beat Dublin, they'll surprise a lot of people and if Dublin do what most people expect them to do, well that's the semi-final that most people have been expecting all year."

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