St Thomas’s Kenneth Burke has predicted his cousin Fintan Burke will be the next family member to break into the Galway set-up after his recovery from a knee injury.
The duo were in the sickbay alongside each other all year with Kenneth recuperating from a serious hamstring injury sustained in last year’s All-Ireland club semi-final, while Fintan picked up a cruciate ligament injury in the final against Ballyhale.
And while Kenneth is still wondering what the future holds for him as a player, he thinks the former Galway U21 captain will soon be on Shane O’Neill’s Galway team list with his cousins David and Eanna.
“I thought I’d be back quicker than Fintan but he has made it back in record time from a cruciate. It’s testament to him, he put massive work into it. He had good muscle mass before it which helped him but it was a long road back,” said Kenneth.
“He would probably have been very close to playing with Galway last year so hopefully he can kick on from this and it won’t affect him in the future.
He still has a bit of recovery to do but it’s a massive boost to have him back. He’ll be in the mix for Galway anyway, that’s for sure.
The oldest of the six Burke brothers to play in their 2013 All-Ireland final victory, Kenneth is almost a year recovering from the injury.
He missed last year’s All-Ireland final loss to Ballyhale Shamrocks, all of the club’s successful Galway championship defence and will again miss out this weekend when they face Tipperary champions Borris-Ileigh in the last four.
An electrician by trade, the injury has hampered him professionally, but Burke says he will give it another few months before calling time on his club career.
“I’m still on the road, I’m not fully right. I’m nearly there. It’s slow but it was a bad injury so it is time-consuming. I’m doing a bit of training but I don’t have full power in it yet. It’s just a matter of strengthening it up and hopefully it will come right. But it mightn’t come right either.
“I’ll give it another few months and if it doesn’t come round I’ll have to call it a day. We’ll keep going for this All-Ireland series. I’ll reevaluate it in spring.”