Bernard Brogan is unlikely to make his return from injury against Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday week but the 2010 Footballer of the Year is confident of being fit for league semi-finals, provided Dublin get there.
The All Star forward has already missed game-time before undergoing a minor operation on his knee earlier this month and sat out the defeat away to Down and victory against Donegal at Croke Park.
He will also miss out on Saturday’s rearranged trip to Castlebar where Pat Gilroy’s side face Mayo.
“It is going really well,” he said yesterday at the announcement of this year’s Sports Capital grants. “I did a bit of aqua treadmill there at the weekend. I put it through a good bit of work and it came through grand.
“I did an hour in the gym on treadmills and cross trainers [yesterday] and there was no reaction so that is good.”
The plan is to return to the training paddock tonight to test the joint but time is not on his side for the Cork trip so, in all probability, he will be dependent on his team-mates booking a place in the last four to get competitive action under his belt before the summer.
“Championship is coming up and you want to get as many competitive games in. You see with the likes of Eoghan O’Gara and these lads that have played Sigerson and O’Byrne football, they were flying.
“Eoghan is playing his best football now, I know he has a bit of a knock but hopefully he will get back soon and keep that run of form up. You can’t beat a run of games and [hopefully] I can get a couple of games in before the break we have.”
Brogan can at least be consoled by the fact his recovery time is only an estimated two to three weeks which contrasts with his father and namesake who required six months after a similar injury in the 1970s.
The rehab has involved the aforementioned aqua treadmill, which is housed at an old folks’ home in Kiltipper. James Allen, the Dublin physio, has used the same treatment on players at Leinster he also treats.
“It works you really hard so I was in bits afterwards but it is great for knee injuries where you don’t want to be getting the contact of hitting the ground as hard.”
The All-Ireland champions have won three and lost two in the league so far but will hope to finish the job started in the postponed game in Mayo, which they led 0-8 to 0-5 at the interval.
“Mayo will have learned a lot from that. They should have beaten Cork last weekend. They were very unlucky. Cork did their usual last 10 minutes where they turn it up. It can be risky enough for us going into this game after having a good day the last day.
“It is a matter of us getting the heads right and not thinking they will get it easy or the lads will play as well as they did the last day. It will be a tough challenge. Mayo [playing] at home is never an easy game.”
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