KILKENNY boss Brian Cody has expressed his delight at the return of former Hurler of the Year Henry Shefflin to inter-county action.
Shefflin ended his nine-month inter-county injury lay-off when lining out for the Cats in a challenge against Waterford on Sunday evening in Tallow.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks star played the full 70 minutes and scored 0-8 in the clash, which Kilkenny won, 0-26 to 3-9.
Cody admitted afterwards: “We are delighted Henry is again wearing the (Kilkenny) jersey. For him to have completed the 70 minutes without any ill-effects from his long lay-off, and to have chipped in with eight points too, is just superb for me and for everyone both inside and outside the hurling camp.
“Not everyone knows just how much work Henry has had to put in to take his place in this (Sunday’s) game.
“Months of painstaking effort were involved, but thankfully he has won his own fitness battle and he deserves nothing but the height of praise for his commitment to the cause of Kilkenny hurling.”
While remaining tightlipped about his starting 15 for the Leinster semi-final against either Antrim or Wexford, Cody agreed that the Ballyhale clubman will be in “serious contention’’.
“The full game he has just played (against Waterford) will have done him the world of good and having him back is a massive boost for the rest of the lads. And I’m including myself and the rest of the management team in that.
Shefflin tore his cruciate ligament in the first half of last year’s All-Ireland semi-final win against Cork, and a scan following the game showed that damage had occurred to ligaments in his right knee.
He subsequently lined out in the All-Ireland defeat to Tipperary in September but was forced to retire early in that game.
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