Eamonn Dillon has admitted he feared his trademark burst of pace was gone after a rare leg injury ruined 2018 for him. The speedy forward is back on form with Dublin, and blasted 2-2 against Carlow last weekend in the Leinster championship.
He’ll be a marked man on Saturday week when Dublin host Galway at Parnell Park needing a win to secure a top-three position. But the 27-year-old feared for his future after a ‘big hard lump’ of blood developed in his leg after suffering a dead leg injury in February of 2018.
“People kept asking me, ‘When are you back?’ I was telling them, ‘I’ll be back this weekend’ and then 12 weeks later I was still limping,” said Dillon.
“I couldn’t lift my leg off the ground. It was a big hard lump in the middle of my quad. It was mad, it was just crazy. I had to take two weeks off work because I couldn’t keep walking around on it. My quad went skinny because I wasn’t using it.
My running was hampered. Even walking up the stairs I couldn’t lead with that leg because I had no power in it.
"I’m not injury prone but that year I got an operation on my knee and I was only back when this happened.”
Dillon played two league games for Pat Gilroy, but missed Dublin’s first three championship games and only came on as a sub in their last match against Galway. Losing his pace was the big fear for a player who relies on a burst of acceleration.
“I did worry about that a lot,” he said. “I went back playing for the club, but I couldn’t run. I didn’t have that burst of pace. It was tedious for a month and a half, but it eventually got back to normal. It was a mad injury but every player has a year like that.”
Dillon, who started against Kilkenny last month in the Leinster championship, hopes for a big display against Galway on Saturday week, with Dublin needing to win to advance to the All-Ireland series.
“We saw against Kilkenny that we performed well and we were beating them but our performance dropped in the second-half and it wasn’t up to par,” he said. “If we do perform, we’ll be up there with any team in the country.”
Derek McGrath and Ger Cunningham review the weekend's hurling with Anthony Daly