Wednesday 13 December 2017

Cillian O'Connor facing uphill task – Bastick

Cillian O'Connor receives attention after a first half shoulder injury - it will be difficult for him to recover in time for the All-Ireland football final
Cillian O'Connor receives attention after a first half shoulder injury - it will be difficult for him to recover in time for the All-Ireland football final
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

HAVING suffered a similar shoulder injury to the one that is threatening Cillian O'Connor's participation for Mayo in the All-Ireland final, Dublin midfielder Denis Bastick concedes it will be "very difficult" for the forward to recover in time.

O'Connor dislocated his shoulder for the third time in less than 12 months in the All-Ireland quarter-final win over Tyrone two weeks ago.

And, having had reconstructive surgery on both shoulders, Bastick can appreciate the task facing the Ballintubber man if he is to play any part in the September showpiece.

"I got the op straight away on one shoulder. I tried to play on with the other, but it was very difficult," the Templeogue/Synge St man said.

"You do have the chance of it popping out again, but, All-Irelands, they don't come around too often. You're going to do everything you can.

"I'm sure they have a great medical team trying to get him right and, hopefully, he'll make it.

"It is possible (to play), you're not going to be 100pc, but, in fairness, Cillian O'Connor at 85 or 90pc, with his free-taking and scoring ability, is a huge boost to any team. It's a call for his manager. "We wish him all the best. For a stand-out player like him, I think he'll play if it is in any way possible."

Bastick hailed the attitude of the Dublin players after they recovered from shipping three first-half goals to advance past Kerry in last Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final.

"We had great trust and belief in ourselves. We went out with a game plan and, you know, we kind of stayed at that for the full 70 minutes – or 80 minutes as it panned out. That was a good thing that we kept doing what we were doing and it paid off."

Irish Independent

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