Canning ignores medics to play through injury

GALWAY hurling star Joe Canning has opted to ignore medical advice despite being hampered by a groin injury that requires a year-long absence to heal.

Canning sustained the problem last year but insisted yesterday that a spell on the sidelines ‘‘is not an option’’ as he seeks to maximise his senior inter-county career.

The Portumna sharpshooter admitted he is unlikely to get anextended break in 2009 due to hisongoing commitments with the Galway U21s and his club.

“I need a year off basically to sort it out and unless I get dropped orsomething, that’s not going to happen.

“You only have a couple of years and you don’t know what’s around thecorner.

“The injury is to my pubic symphysis. The muscle just came off the pubic bone. It’s a muscle thing that just hampers me turning, taking off and sprinting and that kind of stuff. Any guy that had it before has taken six, eight or 12 months away and it would seem to be okay.

“But I don’t know, it’s not an option in my book. I want to play as much as I can. It’s not threatening my career at this stage. Unless it does threaten my career as in, you won’t be able to hurl next year, then maybe. But it’s okay, I’m able to get by. I play a match and a few days after I’d be sore.

“It’s not enough to affect my performance or anything and I wouldn’t use it as an excuse. I’m lucky enough to be able to play.”

Canning, who was speaking yesterday in Parnell Park at the launch of this weekend’s Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21HC semi-finals, also revealed he is ‘‘still sickened’’ by the manner of Galway’s All-Ireland senior championship exit against Waterford.

“We were four points up with three minutes to go and to lose it was unthinkable. I didn’t watch the match yet and I’m still sickened by it. It’s hard to take, we were leading so well and we basically threw it away. I was very frustrated with the point I missed at the end. I had the chance to level it and just fluffed it. I know it was a difficult angle but I’d expect myself to get it.”

He added: “We’ve improved in leaps and bounds since last year but we’ve to start back again. It’s a big disappointment that we won nothing. People were saying it was a good season for Galway but at the end of the day, we’ve no silverware or anything. It’s a failure in my book.”

There is still uncertainty over whether long-serving defender Ollie Canning will commit to the Galway cause for the 2010 season but his younger brother is adamant that they need him on board.

“He is still hurting about the loss. He’s 33 now and it’s hard to know. I haven’t talked to him about it but, hopefully he will come back. We need his experience and he is vital to us in Galway. I think a lot of the younger guys look up to him. He held John Mullane, which any other defender didn’t do. Hopefully he’ll commit for another year or two.”

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