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Kelly taking road to recovery one step at a time

PETER Kelly enjoyed some major high points in 2010, but he is enduring some cruel karma this year.

The Kildare corner-back, who won an All Star in his first senior season, ruptured his cruciate ligament in the O'Byrne Cup opener for UCD last month and was hobbling around the college on crutches yesterday.

The Lilywhites star was due to lead UCD in their Sigerson Cup assault next weekend, but he is estimating a six-month recovery period and has a July return as his goal.

Before then, though, the Two Mile House man must patiently build his leg back to full strength, but he does have some help in that he is working alongside Kilkenny stars Henry Shefflin and John Tennyson and Kildare team-mates Ken Donnelly and Mikey Conway, who are also in rehab.

"There is not a whole lot I can do at the moment apart from a few leg exercises," he said.

"In the next couple of weeks I will go back into the gym and try to strengthen it up.

"I got the operation two weeks ago; it happened a month ago, and the operation went well, it was a success.

"Hopefully I can come back stronger and be mentally stronger for it. There's not a lot I can do for the moment, just watch on and keep it inside you and when I come back let it all out. It is very easy to get down about it."

Kildare's strong showing last season is what will drive Kelly through his dark times and he is hoping the Lilywhites will be in good shape when he returns. "Hopefully my team-mates will do well so that we are still there and I can get back and have a go at Sam Maguire again," he added.

  • FORMER Cork star Derek Kavanagh believes that more high-profile games should be played at provincial venues, rather than being hosted at large stadia.

Kavanagh, who stepped down from county duty in September, is part of the Nemo Rangers side that faces St Brigid's in Saturday's All-Ireland slub semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds, but the Limerick city location would not be his first choice.

"I just think club games should be in club pitches. You'll have 4,000 or 5,000 in a stadium that holds 50,000 -- it's just illogical really," he said.

Irish Independent