Banner starlet Oisin O'Brien has emergency operation on punctured lung in Austria
Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald has revealed how rookie defender Oisin O'Brien had to have emergency surgery in Austria in the days after the league final replay win over Waterford.
O'Brien, one of their better defenders in the drawn game and semi-final against Kilkenny, was a late withdrawal just minutes before the replay.
It emerged in the days after that he had a punctured lung but had already travelled to Austria for a short break.
He had not been aware of the extent of the injury prior to departure.
Fitzgerald revealed how he was contacted when the results of further tests he had taken in hospital after the replay came through on the following Monday.
"I don't know how he punctured his lung," Fitzgerald said.
"But he did it before the last day. And he had to get a procedure done in Austria. He was actually out in Austria when we got the results back from the hospital. He probably shouldn't have gone but he did. He shouldn't have been taking a flight but nobody knew.
"He had about ten missed calls the next day so he had to go straight to hospital there and get it done," said Fitzgerald.
"He couldn't fly home, he had to get back by train and by boat. It took us a bit of time to get him back, he was in hospital for four days out there," confirmed Fitzgerald.
"We don't know how it happened. He was putting on his jersey (in Thurles). There was a bit of panic inside because he couldn't breathe.
"And Oisin being Oisin, he tried to come out on the field and still couldn't breathe. I had to walk him in out of the field that day. He was on his knees inside in the dressing-room."
O'Brien returned to training on Wednesday night however and is back in the frame for next week's Munster semi-final with Waterford.
John Conlon also has an outside chance of making the squad as he recovers from ankle injury that sidelined him for the league finals, according to Fitzgerald.
"He has been our best player so far this year, he's been phenomenal for us. How he played on in the Kilkenny game, after being stood on, I don't know. He's a tough man. It would be great to get him togged out the next day. It's 50-50."
But Aaron Cunningham (hamstring) and Conor Ryan (hormonal disorder) are both out while David McInerney continues to rehabilitate from a back injury.
"Conor had a hormonal disorder, it took us a while to put our finger on it but we got there. So that's a number of weeks. To us he's a massive player.
"He got an All-Star in 2013. His strength, he would be our most dedicated player. If you ask anyone on this team who trains the hardest, you'd have a list of four or five who are incredible. He'd be definitely up there on that. It wasn't from over-training, it's just something that happened."
Meanwhile, in Kilkenny, Mark Bergin has been rewarded for his outstanding club form with Brian Cody recalling the O'Loughlin Gaels attacker to the Cats' senior squad, three years after his last involvement.
Bergin was part of the successful Kilkenny panel in 2012 but was dropped a year later and the U-turn is a rare case of Cody recalling a player that was left off the squad.
The 27-year-old has been to the fore as O'Loughlin Gaels made it three straight wins in the Kilkenny SHC.