Brian Turnbull: ‘The knee was driven inwards, I heard the pop’

Cork’s rising star Brian Turnbull will undergo cruciate knee ligament surgery on October 31 – and the Douglas player admits that he’s “filled with uncertainty” as he faces a prolonged period on the sidelines.

Turnbull was honoured with the inaugural Electric Ireland Minor Star Hurler of the Year award at Croke Park on Saturday after the corner forward collected 1-51 in the 2017 championship.

Munster champions Cork may have lost out to Galway in the All-Ireland final but Turnbull scored 1-7 in the September showpiece.

That fine display followed hot on the heels of a 13-point semi-final haul in the victory over Dublin.

But a week after the Galway game, Turnbull sustained the dreaded knee injury while he was football training with the club.

He explained: “I was coming onto a ball and while I was turning, another player came into the back of me. The knee was driven inwards, I heard the pop. I went down and I wasn’t able to walk then. I got the scan done as quick as possible. If anybody told me it was going to be the cruciate, I refused to listen. I probably should have because it made the news very hard to take.

“I was very upset for the next couple of weeks after it but I have to start moving on.”

Turnbull will go under the knife at the Santry Sports Clinic, with Ray Moran due to perform the surgery.

The season gone by was Turnbull’s last at minor and he’s aiming for a successful recovery to put himself in contention for a place in Cork’s U21 squad next year. And Turnbull revealed that Cork senior star and All-Star nominee Colm Spillane has been in touch to wish him the best. Spillane tore his cruciate in early 2016 but the 24-year-old enjoyed a stellar debut season for the seniors this year.

Turnbull said: “One player who texted me was Colm Spillane. We were involved with the seniors a small bit this year.

“I spent the summer watching him being one of Cork’s best defenders. He texted me after the injury saying ‘heads up’ and to come back stronger. He had the injury and you have a perfect example there, that the injury doesn’t have to be a negative. It’s only 6-9 months of recovery and you can come back stronger.”

He continued: “I know I have the best hands (Moran) looking after me and physio with Declan O’Sullivan in Cork. If I listen to everything they tell me and do what they say, word for word, I should be alright.”

But Turnbull conceded: “I’d be filled with uncertainty about the injury but all I can do is get back into the best possible condition for whatever management are involved and put myself forward in the best possible way I can. At the moment, Cork is blessed with incredible talent and there’s never any guarantee that you’re going to wear that Cork jersey again. I’d be a bit nervous over the whole situation but I have to try and stay positive.”

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