'I've no cartilage left in my knee' - Kilkenny's Richie Power on injuries and retirement
Eight-time All-Ireland champion Richie Power has outlined the extent of the knee injury which has ended his glittering inter-county career.
The Carrickshock clubman has been forced to hang up his hurl after surgeons advised him that his left knee could no longer take the strain involved with being a top level hurler.
Power's only appearance for Brian Cody's side in 2015 came during last year's All-Ireland final victory over Galway when he replaced 2014 hurler of the year Richie Hogan.
Speaking with Game On on 2FM this evening, the 30-year-old admitted that he has known for two months that he would probably never line out for Kilkenny again, but he refuses to rule out a return to club action.
"I kinda knew back in late October that this day was coming," he said.
"I suppose I was holding out hope that some bit of a miracle might happen between then and now.
"It's been forced upon, it's not a decision I wanted to make.
"After an operation in late October, I was told by the surgeons that more than likely, my playing days were behind me.
"To have a quality of life going forward, the best decision was to give up inter-county hurling.
"I was 29 at the time, I just turned 30 there in December. It's not something you expect to hear at that age and it brought the curtains down on both club and county but I'm holding out hope that I'll play some part with Carrickshock this year and I'm going to give the knee every chance in the next 4-6 months rehab."
Power revealed just how serious his knee problems are.
"I've no cartilage left in my left knee. I've had six scopes done since I was 16. It's just wear and tear, I had three scopes in the space of six months last year," he added.
"When you look at it that way, there is only so much a knee can take. Mine can't take much more.
"Throughout 2015, I struggled with it throughout, I struggled with pain and even walking without a limp I found difficult at times.
"Thankfully, since the operation in October, I was on cruthes for 10 weeks and I came off them when we were away on the holiday.
"I'm starting to get full mobility back, still walking with a slight limp partly due to the fact that I've been walking with it for the last year, I suppose I have to teach myself to walk properly again and persist with the rehab.
"I'm trying to minimise the damage and live as normal a life as I possibly can. If it means surgery down the line, I'll face that when it comes."