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Kilkenny chief insists 'routine' Shefflin foot surgery always part of plan

Henry Shefflin's surgery last week was planned and involved removing pins inserted in the foot to assist his recovery from a broken bone, Kilkenny chairman Ned Quinn has indicated.

Quinn said his understanding was that the surgery was "routine" for the injury Shefflin had and while he was under general anaesthetic for the procedure, "he was in and out of hospital in the same day."

Pressed on whether the procedure would jeopardise any further Shefflin's participation in Kilkenny's opening Leinster championship match, Quinn stressed that the timeline for the nine-time All-Ireland senior medal winner remained open.

"I'm not in a position to give a medical briefing. However, my understanding was that these pins always had to come out at some stage," he said.

Shefflin has never missed a championship game in his 14-year career as a Kilkenny senior but only last week team selector Martin Fogarty, who has assumed control with physical trainer Mick Dempsey in the absence of Brian Cody, admitted there was a "major question mark" over his participation against Offaly on June 9.

Shefflin had an operation on his foot after breaking a bone and damaging ligaments in Ballyhale Shamrocks' Leinster club semi-final defeat to Oulart-The Ballagh in November.

It was always anticipated that he would miss Kilkenny's entire league campaign once he was committed to surgery but there is considerable reluctance to estimate a comeback time.

In recent weeks he has surfaced at training and has done some light jogging after having a foot splint removed and in advance of the removal of the pins last week.

Kilkenny will finish out their league campaign – either in Sunday's semi-final against Galway or after the final two weeks later – without Cody, who continues to recover from the cardiac surgery he underwent almost two weeks ago.

Last year's Kilkenny captain Eoin Larkin has said the expectation among the squad is that the manager won't be back for at least another four weeks, taking him close to the Offaly game.

Irish Independent