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'They said you feel that 'pop' or crunch, then this massive pain for a minute, and then you think you can get back up and walk away'

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Battle of wounded knee: Clare hurling captain John Conlon is recovering from a cruciate ligament tear that would normally have forced him to miss this year’s championship. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Battle of wounded knee: Clare hurling captain John Conlon is recovering from a cruciate ligament tear that would normally have forced him to miss this year’s championship. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Battle of wounded knee: Clare hurling captain John Conlon is recovering from a cruciate ligament tear that would normally have forced him to miss this year’s championship. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

A tale of two cruciates in a pandemic. In a parallel universe, Westmeath footballers would be in Tullamore this evening, putting on their game faces for the ultimate challenge … a date with the Dubs.

And Ger Egan would hope to have won his 11-month battle of wounded knee; to have made the match-day squad for this early-summer rendezvous of David and Goliath.

Egan is still training away on his own, doing all that he can in these surreal times, but he admits: "If you don't have a target or a goal, it's hard to keep motivated … the whole lockdown came at an odd time for me."