O'Sullivan targets return in time for Super 8s series
Injured Dublin defender Cian O'Sullivan has targeted being fully back in harness with the Dublin footballers by the time the Super 8s roll around.
The Dubs are expected to cruise through Leinster once more and while O'Sullivan reckons the provincial campaign will likely come too soon for him, he's hopeful of being back in the set-up by the time new phase of the All-Ireland series kicks in in mid-July.
"I'd be quite disappointed if I wasn't back training fully at that (the Super 8) stage," he said. "Certainly by then … the earliest I can possibly get back, the better, but I don't want to constrain myself with any dates.
"You kind of get told a few different return-to-play times, from four months back to kind of three months. So I don't want to put any definitive time-line there. I'll just throw the kitchen sink at it in terms of rehab and see where I get to.
"So yeah, just rehabbing at the moment and going back with the county after the club games are finished."
The timing of the injury hasn't been kind. That day against Kerry was his first start in the league while it also means he'll miss the opening two rounds of club championship with Kilmacud Crokes.
However, the wear and tear on his shoulder joint meant that an operation was always going to be required.
"I had to get the scans and all that stuff to see the extent of the damage. And even when they get the scans, they still can't properly assess how bad the tears are inside the shoulder joint. So it's not until they actually go in, and they do the operation, that they see what's going on. The surgeon said it was definitely the right call to get it done, so I guess from that perspective it's a bit of good news."
"I'm just at the early phases of the rehab now so I'd imagine when I go back … I suppose one positive from it, it's an upper-body injury so you can go back and be aerobically fit by the time you get back. It's just building confidence in it then to take the hits and getting back into contact."
The Super 8 teams are set to play once in Croke Park, once away and once at home, meaning Dublin will play twice in Croke Park in the series but O'Sullivan insists they will play wherever they are sent.
"I guess players get those questions put to us but players aren't involved in an administrative capacity at all. We'll play where we're put down to play. We certainly have no issues playing anywhere really. I think we quite enjoy actually playing games in different venues and in different stadiums.
"There's a good buzz and a good atmosphere, there's a far better atmosphere in a packed-out 30,000 stadium than there is having 30,000 people in an empty Croke Park it seems. I know we played Laois in Kilkenny in the opening round of the championship two years ago and the atmosphere down there for an opening round game was incredible.
"The lads really, really enjoyed it, enjoyed playing down there. I guess... I don't know if those fixtures have been nailed down yet but from a player perspective we certainly have no issues with playing wherever we're asked to."