Shefflin delays decision on Kilkenny future
Henry Shefflin has spoken of the worry about his injury-ravaged body standing up to a game in which youth is "taking over" as he delays any decision on his inter-county future until the end of the year.
Hurling's most decorated star will be 35 in January and, after an injury-ravaged 2013 campaign, culminating in his All-Ireland quarter-final dismissal against Cork, the Kilkenny man is weighing up his options of bidding for a 16th championship season.
He has welcomed Brian Cody's decision to continue as Cats manager, but the record nine-time All-Ireland winner and 11-time All Star is resisting any urge to immediately follow suit.
Shefflin's season was devastated when complications set in with recuperation from a broken bone in his foot sustained while on club duty with Ballyhale Shamrocks in November.
It brought an end to his remarkable record of having started every single championship game during Cody's 15 years in charge, his entire involvement with Kilkenny this summer confined to just over a single hour of hurling.
Though now fit again, he has decided to suspend any announcement on his availability to Kilkenny until he has gauged his form with Ballyhale.
"I feel fit, but I'm going to have to reflect at the end of the year, see where I stand," he told the Irish Independent in an exclusive, in-depth interview, published inside today. "I don't know what kind of form I'm in, what kind of shape I'm in because I haven't played enough matches. I need to get a run of matches, see how the body feels.
"Because there's no point going back if you're not right. The way the youth now are taking over, speed and athleticism have become such fundamental parts of the game."