Sunday 17 December 2017

Fennelly vows to fight on despite latest injury setback

Fennelly: "It could be six, seven, eight or nine months depending on the severity of the injury and the healing process." Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

It's a different injury but an all too familiar theme for Michael Fennelly.

For the moment at least, he's not battling his troublesome back, which has dogged him since 2012.

Instead this winter, getting the Achilles he snapped in the All-Ireland semi-final replay win over Waterford right again has consumed him. An operation that saw a tendon removed from his foot and placed in his achilles has started the road to recovery.

However, what lies ahead is both arduous and uncertain.

"I haven't a clue (when I'll be back)," he conceded. "It is very difficult to put time on an Achilles. It could be six, seven, eight or nine months depending on the severity of the injury and the healing process.

"So we won't know until I get running so we probably won't know until March or April really."

The unfortunate irony is that when Fennelly gets back running, it's likely to add to the ongoing issues with his back. The 31-year-old admits there is the possibility that he might not make it back at all though he wasn't keen on focusing on that.

"There probably is that but I'm not thinking too much about that. I'm trying to be positive and trying to keep those gains going in the right direction," he said.


However he agrees that being in an almost constant state of rehab has taken its toll.

"Definitely you get fed up," he said. "In the last month or two the back hasn't been great either, there has been soreness so I'm looking forward to getting back with the physios and training - once you get the body in good shape its not too bad.

"In the off-season when you are not doing too much (the back) gets achy. Sleeping in different beds sets me off as well. After hurling it won't be too pretty, I'd say."

However, a desire to return to Championship means he'll play as long as he can.

"When you stop you stop and you're finished. Hurling is such large part of my life and the whole Kilkenny thing is as well over the last number of years. I feel I have more to give," he said.

"Obviously the injuries are annoying but if they weren't there I think I'd be fine. My body is good to go for another while but they are hammering the longevity of my career.

"It's very hard to walk away from that buzz in Croke Park. If I did call it a day today, come Championship you'd be heartbroken, you'd nearly want to avoid going to the games. It's a love for the game and a love for Kilkenny.

"I feel I have another year or so in me."

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