Whiplash is not an injury often associated with hurling, but the condition kept Kilkenny’s Eoin Murphy out of three league games.
Close to the end of the Cats’ Division 1A round-three win over Waterford in Walsh Park on February 18, goalkeeper Murphy collided with totemic forward Tom Devine and, while the effects weren’t evident, they later revealed themselves and he had to sit out the remaining round games, against Tipperary and Wexford, as well as the quarter-final with Offaly.
As Murphy gathered the ball, Devine arrived and they clashed.
“He just saw [the ball] before I rose it, so he was coming to sort of kick it in and, once I got the ball in my hands, he was a step past Pádraig Walsh in that split moment and the two of us collided.
"It could happen anywhere. I got through a club game a couple of weeks ago, out the field as well, so you could have that knock 20 times during a week. It was just where he hit me and that was all.
"I’m totally fine now; I’m not feeling any of the effects of it and that’s in good part the medical team.”
Having been concussed previously, the Glenmore man, and the medical team were taking no chances.
“I think [team physician] Dr Tadhg Crowley was asking me questions afterward to see how my head was. I had a couple of concussions, so I know that general feeling.
"It’s an unusual, a sort of out-of-body experience, but I was fine in that regard. It was just the rotation in my neck that was catching me. The gym work and running, where I didn’t have to rotate my neck, was what I was doing for the few weeks.”
Despite playing on for the remaining minutes, Murphy also had to take time off work with SME Finance and Leasing Solutions to recover.
“Obviously, at the time, the adrenaline is running and you don’t really feel it, but I was starting to stiffen up afterwards and I had to take a couple of days off the road with work, because I couldn’t drive.
"The muscles kept flaring up for a couple of weeks so there was a good bit of work with physios.”
However, the break proved to be worth it, as he followed it up with strong displays in the wins over Limerick and Tipperary.
"He’s been a very good goalkeeper the last four or five years at minor and U21 level. It allowed him to get a bit of experience at senior level and he played quite well, so I was mad to get back competing with him again.”
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