Tyrone forward Connor McAliskey is facing up to 14 months out of the game after learning that his knee injury is even worse than first feared.
The Clonoe attacker was believed to have suffered a cruciate injury in Tyrone’s opening game of 2017 against Cavan in the McKenna Cup.
However he has also ruptured his medial ligament, adding at least another four months onto his rehab and recovery.
“I had the operation nine days after the game and there is a wee bit more damage than I first thought,” he said.
“The MCL was badly damaged, it came off the bone. I’m going to be in a brace for another six or seven weeks.
“The first four months are a non-runner, they’re just to get the medial ligament healed and then I can get into rehab for the cruciate.
“The first operation was just to get it pinned down. They took the graft out of my right hamstring and put it into my left to form the cruciate.” McAliskey is travelling to Dublin with the squad for tonight’s Allianz League clash in Croke Park and has already set himself a target to return.
“Everyone tells you it’s bad it happened at the start of the year but I’m looking at it the opposite way. If it had happened in April, May time, I would have missed two years completely with club and county. So I think around this time next year during the break in the league, maybe round three or four, the aims is to be coming back and trying to play a bit of football around then.”
He’d dearly love to be playing against the league and All-Ireland champions tonight. “It’s big games like Dublin that you’d like to be playing in, and the last few times we’ve played them we haven’t been far away. People were talking up this big game between Tyrone and Dublin and everyone was looking for it to happen last year, but it wasn’t something we were talking about. They’ve gone 30 games unbeaten in league and championship. They are the top team and it’s good to challenge yourself against them.
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