Darren Hughes fears his leg injury could be career-threatening if not treated correctly.
The Monaghan captain will miss Sunday’s Ulster SFC tie against Antrim and has been ordered to rest up for four weeks after suffering calcification in his right thigh following a dead leg.
Part of the muscle has turned to bone in a rare complication to a common injury.
Hughes admitted: “It is serious, even walking on it you’re probably at risk.
It can be career-threatening if it’s not looked after. The physio (Alan Byrne) said he cannot emphasise how careful I have to be with this injury. There is nothing out there that can cure it bar giving it time.’’
Hughes, a farmer, cannot rest completely as he will be “jumping in and out of tractors all the time” during one of the busiest times of the year.
But he has his hopes pinned on being back in time for Monaghan’s next match, be it an Ulster semi-final or a qualifier, at the end of June.
“I’ve asked if there is anything I can do, what remedies I could take, but Alan works with the Irish soccer team and told me if there was something could be done for this injury, Man United would have found it when the same thing happened to John O’Shea.
“He was out for four months because he started to run on it and it got a lot worse before it got better. I have rested mine well and it is a realistic target for me to be ready for the end of June.”
Although devastated to be missing out, he will be warning his team-mates to expect a difficult outing against Antrim.
“There is no point moping because it’s not about me — there is a job to do. Antrim are confident of turning us over. The way we are performing over the last 18 months we can’t look beyond Antrim. At the same time, we have a good enough squad, even with the injuries, so we are optimistic.’’
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