Footballer of the year James O’Donoghue is confident that he will win his fitness battle as Kerry prepare to defend their Munster title.

Legion clubman O’Donoghue underwent shoulder surgery in November. 

The All-Ireland champions will face either Tipperary or Waterford on 14 June in the Munster Championship.

“I think I’ll be fit come [that] game,” O’Donoghue told RTÉ Sport.

“I’ve been working very hard. It’s just a matter of getting the sharpness right for that game. Hopefully in training I can show that I’m ready to rock.

“I’ve done a lot of work on the legs, a lot of fitness work. I think that will stand to me when I do come back.

"I’m think I’m probably in better nick than I was. I’m physically stronger, faster, hopefully, fingers crossed.

“I’ve done a lot of work on that so I’m hoping that will pay off.”

"I’m physically stronger, faster, hopefully, fingers crossed"

The forward missed the Allianz League campaign, where Kerry won three, lost three and drew one, and admitted that he was kept busy enough with his own fitness race to be too concerned about his lack of game-time.

“Missing the league was obviously frustrating but I had my own things to be doing,” he said.

“I was concentrating on my shoulder and my rehab and getting my body right.

“I was watching the boys with interest but I was so consumed with my own rehab, I’d enough to be working on to not get overly concerned.”