By Peter O'Dwyer
Former Dublin footballer Barry Cahill has said he has no doubt Ciarán Kilkenny can fully recover from the cruciate ligament injury he suffered against Kildare on Saturday night.
It is better for a player to sustain an injury of that type early in their career as they are still developing, Cahill told the Herald.
“I would say that, given the choice, you would rather do it earlier in your career rather than later because you’re still developing as a player,” said Cahill.
The St Brigid’s clubman feels Kilkenny also has the advantage of being in college rather than full-time employment as he should have the requisite time to rehab the injury properly.
Cahill sustained the same injury in 2003 when he was in college in UCD.
“Another side to it is, Ciarán is still in college and not in full-time employment, so you’re able to dedicate yourself to the whole rehab process, which is crucial if you want to get back to the level that you were playing at.
“From my perspective, I was in UCD at the time so I had the summer and the few months after that to really knuckle down and put in the time that was required,” said the former Dublin star.
Kilkenny ruptured the ligament in the opening minutes of the Kildare game when he twisted his knee challenging Kildare’s Mick O’ Grady for the ball.
The injury has not only put paid to Kilkenny’s participation with the senior footballers but with the U-21 hurlers too.
Just last week Kilkenny confirmed his intention to hurl for Joe Fortune’s men in what would have been his last year eligible at that age grade.
Humbled by all the support from friends,family,teammates,management & GAA people,shows how tight knit GAA community is,Beidh mé ar ais #GRMA— Ciarán Kilkenny (@CKKilkenny93) March 9, 2014
Cahill, however, expects the Castleknock clubman to return with no adverse effects - similar to his own situation.
“In terms of pace and flexibility, I never had a problem with that afterwards.
“I never felt I lost anything and, touch wood, I’ve never had any problems with the knee since then,” he said.
“There’s no reason why Ciarán won’t get back to his best within 12 months,” he added.