Geraghty and O'Hara careers in the balance
Published 07/07/2011 | 05:00
TWO of Gaelic football's most enduring stars -- Graham Geraghty and Eamonn O'Hara -- have suffered potentially career-ending injuries.
Meath star Geraghty (38) ruptured an Achilles tendon which has ruled him out for the rest of the season, while Sligo talisman O'Hara (35) has suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury for the second time in his career.
Having made their championship debuts back in 1993 and 1994 respectively, Geraghty and O'Hara are out on their own as football's longest-serving players, with the Sligo man suffering this latest setback while in action for his club Tourlestrane last weekend.
O'Hara became only Sligo's third All Star in 2002 and featured in both of Sligo's championship outings this year. He also scored the vital goal in their 2007 Connacht final win over Galway.
O'Hara has struggled with injury at various stages in his career. This is the second time he has suffered a cruciate ligament injury after previously injuring his other knee in 2005, while he missed large parts of 2010 with a snapped tendon in his foot.
"I spoke with him last night and he was very philosophical about it all, but I am sure he is shattered," said Sligo County Board chairman Cyril Feehily. "It would be very sad if he went out like that."
Despite being three years his senior, Meath star Geraghty insists he would return to inter-county football in 2012 if he was approached.
"If I was asked back next year, I'd go in," said the 1999 All-Ireland-winning captain. "This has only made me more determined."
Geraghty's controversial recall prompted Meath selectors Liam Harnan and Barry Callaghan to resign, but Royal County boss Seamus McEnaney insisted recently that the Clann na nGael clubman was "the best footballer Meath ever produced".
Geraghty has played just 10 minutes of championship football since his recall, though he punched a 'goal' against Kildare that was ruled out for a square ball infringement. He missed the qualifier win over Louth due to a reported hamstring strain.