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Published: 12:04 | 17/7/17

Doyle to undergo thumb surgery

Kildare captain Eoin Doyle will undergo surgery on a broken thumb on Monday, Lilywhites' boss Cian O'Neill has confirmed.

The Naas man suffered the injury in training last week, but played through the pain for 52 minutes of Sunday's Leinster SFC 2-23 to 1-17 final defeat to Dublin at Croke Park.

However, Doyle is now a major doubt for Kildare's Round 4B qualifier against Armagh on 29 July.

"He'll be in for surgery tomorrow morning," O'Neill said after Sunday's game. 

"It's a measure of the man. There was no way he wasn't going to be playing today. Eoin broke his thumb last week and he felt he could get through.

"We felt he could get through along with him and he played as much as he could and put in a real stellar performance, considering.

"There were obviously some parts of his game that he couldn't execute but I think that was far superseded by the brilliant things he did in marshalling that defence for large periods. 

"It's most likely he won't be available in two weeks time but we'll wait and see."

O'Neill, who admits there was "a lot of hurt in the dressing room" after the defeat to Jim Gavin's side, says the players will need to lift themselves for the Round 4B qualifier in two weeks' time.

"We'll get back to work this week and really give it a good go. It will be a mighty test," he continued.

"Somebody said to me that the last five Leinster losers [actually eight - Louth, Wexford, Meath [three times] and Westmeath [twice]] have gone out in the next round and that's just tough after a defeat, but sometimes it can be the scars of a horrific defeat by Dublin.

"I don't think we'll have that scar - but we'll definitely have that scar of disappointment. We'll see how we can build ourselves up again."

Kildare will also be without midfielder Kevin Feely, who picked up his third black card of the season in Sunday's final, for the Round 4B qualifier.

"He put in another big shift today," O’Neill continued.

"He's been a revelation for us this year. Last year was his first year back and he picked up a couple of knocks and never got the free run he's had this year.

"You could see the difference on the pitch and not just from kick-outs. He's an all-rounder; he can defend, he can shoot, he can score, he can lead. 

"I can only presume he was very unfortunate with the black card as he's still not sure what it was for but obviously when he goes off the pitch you're losing a big, big player. It wouldn't have altered the result but it was just unfortunate."

Image: Inpho/ Tommy Dickson

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