PAUL FLYNN says mid March is a realistic target for a comeback to the Dublin team after recently undergoing surgery on his groin.
Having initially detected a problem prior to the All-Ireland quarter-final victory over Monaghan, Flynn played on until Fingallian's Dublin IFC final loss to Castleknock in December, having the operation on January 5.
"I've done all the rehabilitation that's required and I'm back now at the running stage for (the next) three weeks," Flynn outlined.
He played both the easy win over Monaghan and the All-Ireland semi-final loss to Donegal with the aid of painkilling injections and initially, attempted to correct the problem with rehab, rather than surgery.
"The rehab didn't work out and we had to play with the cards we were dealt," Flynn explained.
"I wanted to play with the club so it went on until late October then but I'd love to have been playing with the (Dublin) guys yesterday (in Cork), it wasn't planned like that."
He added that "assuming there's no setbacks," mid March is an achievable aim for a return to competitive action.
Presuming Flynn's prognosis is accurate, he will miss Saturday's clash with Donegal in Croke Park, Dublin's trip to Killarney to face Kerry on March 1st and the visit of Tyrone on March 7th.
Jim Gavin's men travel to Castlebar on March 14th to take on Mayo, a match in which Flynn might therefore make his first appearance of 2015.
Of the injury itself - Gilmore's groin, Flynn admitted: " I've never seen as many players getting it.
"It's something obviously that we're doing. I remember reading, years back, that Paul Scholes got it, they call it the 'sportsman's hernia' and I always wondered what it was but now it's starting to creep more and more into the GAA.
"When I was in college with Murphy (Michael, Donegal) he got it done.
"It's not a big operation but it is resulting from high volumes of training, so it could be down to the amount we're training."
Dublin team-mate James McCarthy is another to suffer with a version of the injury, although Flynn explained that the Ballymun man had incurred a more severe affliction.
"His was a little different," he outlined.
"There was more to his, he had to get his abductors operated on whereas mine was just right at the top of the lower abdominal muscle, so mine is not as bad as his.
"He had his operation around four weeks before me so we'll be back around the same time."
"If there's no set-backs," Flynn added, "I reckon it'll be mid-March. That's the target."