Foley’s 2012 League campaign was wiped out after he went under the knife to sort out a hip problem and in a cruel twist of fate, a similar problem flared up in his other hip after Christmas.
Foley, 25, was operated on at Waterford’s Whitfield Clinic last Friday and the versatile Abbeyside clubman will be ruled out for up to three months. That leaves him facing a race against time to be fit for the Déise’s Munster SHC quarter-final against Clare on June 2 and Foley admits that he’s unlikely to feature in that game.
A frustrated Foley added: “I started this year very well. I was flying fit, playing a few games, scoring from midfield. My form was back but I felt this thing niggling away at me. I was in denial up to two or three weeks ago when I knew that I had to get the thing sorted or I’d miss the whole year. I’ll work my way back over the next nine or ten weeks, work on my match fitness and sharpness and try to bust my way back in.”
And Foley described the criticism of Waterford before a ball was pucked this year as “mad.”
The prophets of doom predicted a difficult League campaign for Michael Ryan’s team following John Mullane’s retirement but three points have been collected from the opening two fixtures.
Foley reflected: “There was a lot of doubt and criticism in Waterford and we hadn’t even a game played. It was mad.
“We lost to UL in the Waterford Crystal but that was our first game of the year. Last year, we had a bad League campaign and we just hung on (in Division 1) but we have a lot of new lads who didn’t play last year and while we’ve lost a few, we’ve gained a few too.
There’s a nice freshness there and it helps when everyone is doubting and criticising you because the lads are closer now than ever before.
Foley, meanwhile, is concerned at the spate of hip injuries suffered by top-level GAA players.
He said: “It’s the buzz injury at the moment. Maurice Shanahan had his two hips done in December, Pauric Mahony had surgery last year, (Kilkenny’s) Richie Power had his two hips done, Eoin McGrath and Declan Prendergast too when they were with Waterford.
“It’s from over-training and one of the main reasons why lads get it is because there is a percentage of players born with an extra layer of bone in the hip, which aggravates the hip joint. The cartilage was flaring up and Clare’s Darach Honan is another that had his two hips done last year. It’s a three-month thing and while Pauric (Mahony) was back in eight weeks last year, he was in pain going back. Coming back early can be done but I’d rather be patient and there’s a fairly intensive rehab programme ahead of me. I’ll be cycling the bones of 100k a week for work and that will keep me fit and in shape.”
Foley, who took up employment with bookmakers Paddy Power in Dublin last August.