Shefflin may sit out summer as injury recovery may be six weeks

Henry Shefflin is “four, five, six weeks” away from a return to hurling action for Kilkenny, meaning he is unlikely to figure in this year’s Leinster hurling championship.

Shefflin may sit out summer as injury recovery  may be six weeks

The Kilkenny icon said yesterday that while he is not wearing a protective surgical boot any more, there is no question of him figuring in the Cats’ next two games at least.

“It will be another couple of weeks before I go back into see him [surgeon], so I’m a good few weeks away because obviously I’ve to start training and trying to get back up to speed.

“The next question you’re going to ask me is ‘when will I be back?’ I don’t honestly know. It’s definitely four, five, six weeks away at this stage.”

Shefflin conceded he’s familiar with the rehabilitation routine, having overcome serious injuries in the past, like two cruciate ruptures.

“I suppose I’ve had plenty of experience of these injuries. Of course you’d be disappointed and stuff like that, but look, it’s sport and it’s been going on a bit and I hate being here, you know — ‘Bad news again’. This tale seems to be going on and people are probably fed up listening to it.

“All I can do is try and look after myself and just try and get myself right. It’s just very unfortunate that I picked up this second injury. The other one probably has been coming around nicely this time of the year; it would have worked out perfectly. But I’ve been lucky heretofore.

“I’m not trying to put a positive spin on it, but of course you get your moments where you can’t be totally positive. But you have to just try and overcome that and try and get back, and I think once you’re doing something — going to the gym or pucking the ball against a wall, once you feel that you’re doing something... the year is not gone from me and, please God, Kilkenny can be still there.

“I know as well I can’t do too much, because if I do too much I’m going to set it back. So it’s a balancing act that I have to get right. I’ve been very lucky with the success I’ve had, the time the injuries happened at.

“Obviously this one is disappointing. But you can’t have it a bed of roses the whole time. You’re going to get divots in the road. This is definitely one of them.”

He acknowledged he might be fresher for the latter stages of the championship: “Mentally I don’t have to get myself up for a game this weekend so in that way you’re fresher.

“But it all depends on how you get back — how you perform when you come back. Obviously if you’re injured and you’re struggling, that is difficult.”

Shefflin appeared to rule out his clubmate, Michael Fennelly, for Kilkenny’s championship opener against Offaly after the midfielder hurt an ankle on club duty.

“He won’t be playing this weekend, I think. He’s been very unlucky. It’s my club as well — TJ [Reid] obviously has been struggling and Colin [Fennelly] as well has been struggling, so the Ballyhale lads seem to get getting a tough going at the moment.

“I think Michael is starting to come around a bit, but it has taken its time. It’s at the stage of the season where things are very tight, so every week is an important week is it goes by.”

It hasn’t all been bad news for Kilkenny, however, with Shefflin among the players to welcome manager Brian Cody back after recent heart surgery.

“No one knew about it, but everyone was delighted to see him back,” said Shefflin.

“I think everyone obviously was delighted to see him back, and I suppose it just feels normal again to have him back there.”

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