Exclusive: James O’Donoghue faces surgery on SECOND shoulder and at least four months on the sideline
Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s worst fears have been realised as he looks set to be without 2014 Footballer of the Year James O’Donoghue until the Munster Final, provided Kerry get that far.
The only saving grace for Fitzmaurice and Kerry is that the issue pertains to his left shoulder, and not his troublesome right as reported elsewhere today, which has required surgery before.
O’Donoghue popped his left shoulder in the first period of extra time playing for Killarney Legion against South Kerry. The 25-year-old had the shoulder popped back in again and returned to the fray but was powerless to prevent South Kerry edge home thanks to a late point from Aidan Walsh.
A Legion club source confirmed the setback to Independent.ie after the corner forward failed to line-out in the local Divisional Championship quarter-final clash with Firies last weekend.
Following a scan on his left shoulder surgery was the suggested option, so O’Donoghue will travel to Santry - possibly as soon as the weekend - for an operation that will see the Kerry star out of action for a minimum of four months.
Consequently, O’Donoghue will miss out on Legions’ remaining club games, including an O’Donoghue Cup semi-final meeting with rivals Dr Crokes.
A club source also confirmed that it is O’Donoghue’s left shoulder and not his right, which had previously been operated on in November of last year and meant he was absent from Kerry’s entire NFL campaign, only coming on as a sub in the Munster SFC semi-final against Tipperary.
He aggravated the same shoulder in the All-Ireland quarter-final where he is pictured clutching his right shoulder. But O’Donoghue made a miraculous recovery and started against Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final. He has admitted that his right shoulder will likely require further operations in the future.
Meanwhile, O’Donoghue is not the only Kerry player who may miss some of the NFL, as Peter Crowley has undergone a shoulder operation two weeks ago, Anthony Maher has had surgery on a troublesome hip and both Paul and Mikey Geaney are currently rehabbing after back operations.
Shane Enright also underwent minor surgery while Barry John Keane has a troublesome ankle and David Moran has a troublesome disc. Johnny Buckley was in Santry recently, on the same day as Peter Crowley and Dublin All-Star Brian Fenton, for a scan on his knee, and the Dr Crokes midfielder is rumoured to be another Kerry player who may have to have surgery on his knee but he may wait until after his club are finished in the East Kerry Championship.
It is also rumoured that Colm Cooper is gone to Abu Dhabi and will not play for his club this year as he recharges his batteries for 2016.