Maher hoping to make big May battle with Rebels

BRENDAN MAHER will miss Tipperary’s meeting with Cork but he will be back for the rest of the championship.

The Tipperary All Star went over on his ankle at home in Borrisileigh last Friday and was expected to be out until mid-July. However, he will be able to start rehab in six weeks after good news from the doctors yesterday.

“It’s not as bad as what was feared, just a fracture on my fibula,” he said.

“I’ll be in a cast for six weeks, rehab from there, then hoping to be back in training by the Cork championship game on May 29. I won’t make the game, but I hope to be back in contention in 10 to 12 weeks.

“It could have been a lot worse. After talking to the doctor and the physio on Monday I was fearing the worst. A lot of these injuries need surgery, a plate, so I was fearing the worst going down to Waterford.

“I met with Dr Gerry McCoy, the surgeon down there, and he was happy that it’s just a matter of letting it heal itself. It takes time, a slow process.

“I’ll be doing stuff in the meantime in the gym, keeping myself as fit as I can so I can get back to action as fast as possible, but I suppose I’m in a slightly better mood now.

“I got the best possible outcome from it, and that’s a positive.

“That’s what I’m trying to do now, take whatever positives I can. Stay optimistic. The minute the cast comes off I’ll start the rehab and get back to action as soon as possible.”

He’s only just turned 22 but the mature manner in which he has accepted his fate is merely a continuation of the maturity shown so far in an already stellar career, during which he has picked up All-Ireland medals at minor, U21 and senior level.

“These things happen,” he shrugged.

“I had damaged it already, had gone over on it in the Offaly game (two weeks ago), had gone over on it again in Borrisileigh, which weakened the muscle that protects the fibula.

“So there was a weakness there. We have a concrete yard, I was stepping down off that, lost my footing, the ankle went from under me and all my weight came down on it.

“I didn’t think I had done any serious damage, I was able to get up and put weight on it. I thought it was only a strain, went in to the house and immediately put ice on it.

“I contacted the physio, John Casey, I told him what had happened, that I could put weight on it and all that. He told me to keep icing it, which I did.

“I went in to see him on the Sunday for a bit of physio, and everything he asked me to do, I was able to do. I could stand on it, walk on it and so on. But he still felt I should go for an x-ray on it, just to get the all clear. I went to Nenagh on the Monday morning, and the fracture showed up on it.

“I was a bit shocked with the news. I didn’t believe the doctor when he told me there was a break. I nearly had to examine the x-ray myself!”

Bad break then, but he will see championship action this season with Tipperary. The club will suffer though.

“It’s affecting the club badly. It looks like I’m going to miss nearly all our group games, which is a huge disappointment, especially as we’re struggling with injury already.”

The county too could do with him, especially with Eoin Kelly out this Sunday with a broken finger. “Maybe, but everyone has been fighting for their place for the last few years, no-one is guaranteed a place anyway.

“I’m sure the management will fill the gaps, someone will get a chance now and hopefully they’ll step up to the mark. Woody (James Woodlock) is there, ready-made, Michael Gleeson has played well, Gearoid Ryan played well there against Offaly when he was shifted. It’s not all doom and gloom.”



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