Kyle Coney says he is devastated by the injury which has ruined his season with Tyrone.
Speaking for the first time since suffering a rare groin injury, which needed a screw inserted in his pelvis, the Ardboe forward has revealed he suffered the same type of injury as All Black legend Dan Carter suffered at the Rugby World Cup last year.
“It is a rare thing,” explained Coney, “I think there has only been four or five of these operations in the world.”
“The one that we would know about is Dan Carter (New Zealand) in the Rugby World Cup. It would be common in sprinters. Steven Gerrard would have had a form as it as well.
“It is very uncommon but you have to treat it properly. It could be career-threatening if you come back a bit too early and something went wrong, so it is probably advisable to take the full rehab time of nine months.
“You would not want to come back to ruin your career at such a young age.”
Coney is dismayed to have suffered the first major injury of his career just as he was becoming a regular in the Tyrone team.
It happened a month ago while playing in Ardboe’s first league match of the season. Just as he drew his leg back to take a free off the ground, something snapped and he ended up lying face down over the ball.
“I was getting a run of games and things were falling right but that’s football, something will always go wrong along the line,” he said.
“It wasn’t nice. There was a lot of shock but after the shock wore off, the pain was severe.
“I had to get a wee screw put into my pelvis and get it all stitched back down.
“The groin muscle came straight off the bone and I needed surgery.”
After starring on the Tyrone All-Ireland winning minor team of 2008, Coney flirted with an AFL career in Australia with Sydney Swans but decided to commit to Tyrone.
It took him a few years to establish himself in the senior team but his performances in this year’s league campaign suggested this was going to be the year. In his last game, against Monaghan, he kicked 0-8.
He would love to think he could play for Tyrone later in the year but is resigned to waiting until 2013, which is a huge blow to Tyrone’s hopes this summer, especially with Ronan O’Neill and Tommy McGuigan also missing.
“Maybe if Tyrone get to the All-Ireland final, you never know but it is probably a six to a nine-month job.
“I will not put myself down too much because I am trying to have a wee bit of hope for the end of the year, but the main thing is to come back strong.”
Coney is still on crutches and has been off work for over a month.
He is hoping for a payout from the GAA’s players’ insurance scheme and admits: “I am not sure when I will get back to work.”
“I was working in a factory near Belfast. It involved manual labour and you needed to be 100% for it.
“It is difficult financially as well but there is nothing that we can do.
“I have all the forms filled and sent away and it is down to them as to how quickly they pay out. It is in their hands now. I have been speaking to the GPA, and Sean (Cavanagh) who is involved in the GPA and I am just waiting for word back.”
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