THE season-ending injury to Sean Cavanagh has prompted Micky Harte to issue an SOS to one or two former Tyrone All-Ireland winning stars to end their retirement and return to the county fold.
Rumours have been doing the rounds in recent days that the Red Hand boss was in contact with some of the stalwarts of yesteryear, who called it quits in the off-season, asking them to reconsider their decision.
And Harte single-handedly refused to scotch such speculation as he resigned himself to the fact that Cavanagh would play no part in this summer’s Championship. The 2008 Footballer of the Year underwent a scan having sustained a shoulder injury playing for the Moy during a club game last Sunday.
It was confirmed that he would have to go under the knife after suffering a detached tendon in the right shoulder, a similar injury to the damage inflicted on his left shoulder during a weights session last September.
His absence leaves Tyrone with a huge void to try and fill as they close in on their Ulster Championship opener with Armagh on Sunday week and Harte has suggested that may open the way for a ‘Paul Scholes’ type scenario, with a stalwart of past campaigns performing a dramatic ‘U-turn’.
“I was asked earlier in the week would I go back to some of the other players who used to play. I said I would rule nothing out. If some of the players who played before were in a position to come in and help us out, then we’d be fools not to look at that. Something could happen there but there is nothing concrete at the moment.”
One of those approached was Ardboe play-maker Brian McGuigan. He intimated that he could well make a return to Tyrone colours to aid their championship title tilt, but not before the Red Hands meet Armagh in the opening round on June 10th.
McGuigan has been in discussions with members of the Tyrone set-up about a possible return to the fold. It’s believed that he is giving serious consideration to answering Mickey Harte’s SOS call, but he tells today’s ‘Gaelic Life’ newspaper that it will not be prior to their championship opener against the Orchard county next Sunday.
“It’s simply not feasible for me to come in before the Armagh match. The boys who are there have put in a serious effort since before Christmas, and there’s no way I’m going to come in this close to the championship and disrupt things.”