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Keaney: I may not play at all next year

CONAL Keaney faces the prospect of missing the whole of next season as he struggles to recover from the cruciate ligament injury which blighted his 2011.

The Ballyboden ace damaged cartilage and lateral knee ligaments when his motorbike collided with a van just days before Dublin's All-Ireland SHC quarter-final victory over Limerick and has, by his own admission, suffered severe setbacks in his recovery.

Already, he has ruled himself out of any participation in next year's Allianz League campaign and faces a battle to make an appearance in the championship.

"They (medical people) are saying that I mightn't be able to play at all next year," Keaney revealed.

"I'll have to just play it by ear. I had a few setbacks after the operation, and I'm just happy now to be walking normally without pain.

"I don't know when I will be back jogging. I'm just taking things week-by-week, and taking small steps along the way.

"I'm working out in the gym at the moment, but it (the injury healing) will take a bit of time."

Fellow cruciate victims Stephen Hiney and Tomás Brady are also expected to sit out the majority of Dublin's early-season matches while management will allow David Treacy plenty of time to get over the litany of hamstring injuries.