Wednesday 16 April 2014

Kennelly concerned over Walsh's injury

Tommy Walsh of the Swans looks upfield during the round ten AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Eseendon Bombers at the Sydney Cricket Ground on June 1, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

FORMER Sydney Swans footballer Tadhg Kennelly has expressed his concerns over current Swans player Tommy Walsh and whether or not he can fully recover from the hamstring injury that has severely curtailed his current season.

Kennelly, the only Irish man to win an AFL Premiership medal, suggested that Walsh's injury is more serious than the public realise

"Tommy has a severe injury (and) a lot of people don't know that the injury he's had is as bad as doing a cruciate. He tore the three hamstring tendons off his bone. A lot of players have never come back from that injury. Tommy, six months ago, did that injury and is still not back running so he's got a long way to go if he'll play football at the top level again," Kennelly said.

Walsh still has one year to run on his current contract with the Sydney Swans, after which he may or may not have his contract renewed. Last month Walsh said that if he was not offered a new contract with the Swans that he would be returning to Ireland where he would hope to renew his Gaelic footballer career with Kerry.

"He's a very loyal person," Kennelly said. "He's committed to the Swans, he's got another year left and after that who knows? Swans mightn't offer him a contract, we don't know, but he mightn't be up to it so who knows? But I think his main objective at the moment is just to get his body right. The last thing you want to do is try and come back to Kerry a shattered man injury-wise."

Kennelly was speaking in Dublin over the weekend where he was conducting an AFL Europe Combine in Dublin City University on Saturday at which 22 young GAA players were assessed as to their suitability to play in the AFL.

Kerry footballers Padraig Lucey, Conor Jordan and Kieran Murphy were among the 22 players assessed, with a couple of AFL clubs believed to be strongly interested in taking Lucey to Australia.

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