All-Ireland final drama rarely gets going so early in the day!
Earlier this morning, the Irish Independent reported that the Kilkenny forward Adrian Mullen, the odds-on favourite to be named Young Hurler of the Year has been ruled out of today's showpiece with an illness that forced him to spend time in hospital this week.
RTE's Des Cahill, speaking on the Marian Finnucane Show on RTE Radio 1, suggested his indications were that Mullen would still start the game. Likewise, another source close to the Kilkenny panel claimed reports of Mullen not playing were wide of the mark. Local journalist with the Kilkenny People John Knox has also claimed that while Mullen was in hospital during the week, he was with the team this morning when they travelled to Croke Park.
The will he won't he play story on Adrian Mullen. He was ill and attended hospital during the week. He left Kilkenny this morning on the bus with the rest of the panel:@KKPeopleSport
— John Knox (@johnknoxkk) August 18, 2019
It will be interesting to see what happens when the teams are finally confirmed around 3pm today.
Mullen has been a revelation since establishing himself in the Kilkenny team in the latter half of the Leinster Championship, and was one of the star players when the Cats shocked All-Ireland champions Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-final. It's a lot of pressure on a 19-year-old to play in an All-Ireland final with so much speculation surrounding him on top of playing through what we assume is at least some kind of ailment.
Update: Henry Shefflin, Mullen's club manager with Ballyhale Shamrocks, has confirmed that the young forward was sick earlier in the week but is now good to play.
Henry Shefflin gives an update on Adrian Mullen after reports he could be out due to illness. It appears he will be okay.
Shefflin is his club manager and there's another connection.... #KKvTipp #sundaygame pic.twitter.com/hx20gSvotl
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 18, 2019