Mayo star Lee Keegan 'disappointed' as he is forced to dismiss 'MS rumour'
The 2016 Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after two recent operations on both of his hips, but he has dismissed "a false rumour" that he is suffering from a serious illness.
The Mayo defender said he was "disappointed" and that his family had been "upset" by a recent rumours in GAA circles that the 28-year-old had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a condition that affects the central nervous system.
Keegan underwent two separate surgical procedures on each of his hips in recent weeks, and looks set to be sidelined for between four and five months as he rehabilitates from those operations.
"I'm feeling great, body wise and health wise I'm brilliant, and the operations on my hips went really well," said the Westport clubman.
"I definitely can confirm that I don't have MS, which is a very serious condition and something that really shouldn't be discussed in the manner that it has been.
"Just in terms of my family being asked about my health, I felt it was important to clarify the situation. I'm 100% fine and healthy, and thankfully have no illness like that.
"I was disappointed to see my family upset by the rumours," he added.
"And it's not nice for people who do have MS, for my name to be thrown around in conversations like that, with false rumours.
"I was disappointed that a false story like that went around so quick, and I just wanted people to know that it wasn't true."
Keegan's two keyhole hip surgeries - a result of "wear and tear from the last couple of years" - means that he is likely to miss the majority of Mayo's National League matches next spring as the recovery period is expected to rule him out of action for at least the first four rounds.
"From chatting to the consultant, it's quite common now in the GAA," said the four-time All-Star.
You're looking at around four or five months out, depending on the recovery. I'm lucky that I've got a great medical team around me with Mayo so, if it all goes well, I'll be looking to get back a bit sooner.
"I hate missing games - I love playing for Mayo and putting on the jersey," added Keegan.
Stephen Rochford's charges begin their Division 1 league campaign away to Monaghan in Clones on Sunday, January 28.
This year's beaten All-Ireland finalists will face near-neighbours Galway in the Connacht SFC on Sunday, May 13, in Castlebar.