McCarron puts injuries behind him as he looks to power Farney forward
Jack McCarron will never forget the moment when his career came crashing down.
After making a mark during the 2014 league and featuring sparingly throughout the summer, McCarron was tipped as the perfect foil for Monaghan sharpshooter Conor McManus but a "nothing club match" for Currin quickly changed all that.
They were already relegated to the intermediate ranks travelling to Castleblayney on that October night when the curse of the cruciate struck in his cultured left leg, keeping him on the sidelines for a year.
As if that wasn't bad enough, his hamstrings started giving way upon his return and tear after tear blighted preparation for 2016 before he kept the physio at bay to make his championship bow against Longford.
He didn't set the world alight as the Farney fell to a huge Qualifier shock but at least he was back in action after a series of major hiccups. That was until further disaster struck two weeks later.
His left peg was again the source of anguish as he tore the peroneal retinaculum in his foot but since returning against Cavan in this year's dour league clash, which ended seven points apiece, he's been an ever-present, making a massive impact.
The 24-year-old was "pleasantly surprised" with his subsequent performance against Kerry and posted 3-29 in his five starts, including 1-9 against All-Ireland champions Dublin, which set Monaghan hearts racing, as he eased the burden off the irreplaceable McManus.
Inter-county players need more than just talent and McCarron, having suffered more injury heartbreak than most, is a prime example of taking every knock that's thrown your way and bouncing back twice as strong.
"I suppose the initial phase with the cruciate, once you do it you realise you are going to be out for a sustained period of time. After the initial period you get over it," McCarron said at eir's GAA championship launch.
"I suppose when I came back from the cruciate, hamstring injuries were very frustrating, each time a five-, six-week period, you think, 'All right I am back playing' and suddenly it happens again. It was very demoralising.
"You just have to take a couple of days to yourself to get over it and go back training then. Then, once you get back playing you want to make the most of it."
With Cavan waiting in Breffni Park on Sunday, Monaghan will be hoping a fully fit McCarron can continues to dazzle up front.