Kilkenny hoping deep freeze can get Shefflin back firing
KILKENNY are still sweating on the fitness of Henry Shefflin, who will have a scan today to establish the extent of his knee injury.
Such is his value to the All-Ireland five-in-arow chasers that the Ballyhale Shamrocks star was whisked straight from Croke Park to a cryotherapy chamber in Wexford to try to minimise the damage.
The Irish Independent understands that Shefflin and injured centre-back Brian Hogan had both left HQ before their victorious team-mates returned to the dressing-room after beating Cork in Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC semi-final.
It is believed they were rushed to the cryotherapy clinic in Whites Hotel in Wexford town, a facility regularly used by GAA players and professional sportsmen as part of their recovery process.
Cryogenic therapy involves athletes going into a freezing chamber of minus 120 degrees Celsius for very short durations (no more than three minutes) and is usually used to help speed up injury recovery.
One of its central benefits is the inhibition of inflammation. Keeping down swelling will lessen tissue damage and speed up the rate of recovery.
Shefflin (knee) and Hogan (shoulder) will undergo scans today to establish the exact nature of their injuries.
Kilkenny are understood to be hopeful that Shefflin has not suffered anything as serious as the cruciate ligament knee injury that forced him off during the 2007 All-Ireland final and kept him out of the whole subsequent National Hurling League campaign.
But even if it is only medial ligament damage it depends on how serious it is if he is to make the All-Ireland final on September 5.
Hogan previously broke his collarbone but is more likely to have damaged shoulder ligaments this time.