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Bradley reveals he may call time on his career

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Paddy Bradley. Photo: Sportsfile

Paddy Bradley. Photo: Sportsfile

Paddy Bradley. Photo: Sportsfile

Derry's Paddy Bradley doesn't know whether he will have the drive to overcome a second cruciate ligament operation and play football again.

The 31-year-old sustained the injury, his second cruciate rupture in 18 months, last week and on Monday his surgeon advised him that he would require an operation at the end of October.

Now Bradley is uncertain about what the future holds for him.

"I know it's possible for me to return, even for next year's Ulster championship, but only if I do everything right. Whether I have the drive for that, I just can't say right now," he admitted.

Bradley was back in time for this year's league having ruptured his right cruciate in a club league game the previous April.

"I did everything right with my rehabilitation the last time. It can turn your life upside down. I was in the gym most mornings before I went to school.

"But now I have two children and I have changed teaching jobs, which has given me more responsibility. I can't really say if I can give my recovery everything required to be back to where I was," he said.

Bradley admitted that putting extra pressure on his 'good' knee to compensate may have led to last week's mishap. "It was a combination of a twist and a collision at club training, but maybe there has been more strain on the knee than normal. I don't know."

Bradley is the latest player to sustain a second cruciate tear within a short space of time after completing his initial recovery.

Limerick's John Galvin is battling his way back after a second operation within 13 months, while Kildare's Dermot Earley also returned after suffering complications in 2011.

Bradley admitted there would have been no guarantees anyway that he would be part of Brian McIver's plans in the new year.

"That's the other thing. Brian is talking in terms of a five-year plan and that's obviously going to involve a lot of change," he said.

Meanwhile, Conor Counihan is to remain on as Cork football manager for a sixth successive year. Counihan has added John Cleary, the 2009 All-Ireland U-21-winning manager, to his ticket in a coaching capacity.

Cleary has been tipped as the most likely replacement when Counihan does step down.

Irish Independent