KILKENNY GOALKEEPER EOIN Murphy has admitted he was concerned that he had suffered a serious long-term injury when damaging his knee in a club game in April.

Murphy was hit by the injury setback while in action for Glenmore and while it has transpired not to be as severe, he is still unsure of when he will be back in action.

A winner of an All-Star award for the second time in 2018, Murphy had missed Kilkenny’s opening round championship victories over Dublin and Carlow.

“I broke the top of the tibia. I’m off the crutches a week and a half and done a light bit of jogging yesterday. It’s a little bit stiff today. It’s the first time I’ve done anything in six or seven weeks.

“It’s just a progression thing then. There’s no real time frame on it. Where it’s broke, it’s a load-bearing bone. You start off with the jogging and you start increasing it if there’s no injury then.

“Just the severity of the pain, you knew it was something different. When they were coming in and doing a few checks on it, it was extremely sore. It wasn’t comfortable doing those at all.

“I met one of the physios that evening. He did the cruciate test and that was OK. Then after that, we couldn’t really tell if the patella tendon was hurt or damaged in any way. There was a bit of fluid gone into it. There was worry there with the swelling and fluid, I couldn’t get it scanned for a week or so. 

“That week, you’re in a bit of limbo. You see the boys ramping up the training and it is hard. You can’t be going in wallowing in self-pity if you’re number one or number 40 on the panel, you’re equally important to the morale and the spirit. 

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“There was a couple of hours when I was told the tibia was broken and had to see a specialist about how bad it was. I felt bad for myself for half-an-hour but then it was like, ‘Feck it, there’s nothing I can do, just drive on with recovery and get back as soon as I can’.

“I’m delighted to be back, even from a mental point of view. Delighted to be back with the lads. But I’m still in a pair of runners, and I probably will be for the next week or two.”

Eoin Murphy was in Croke Park today at the launch of the new Avonmore Protein Milk Blueberry Flavour.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Murphy will definitely be watching on for Kilkenny’s remaining Leinster round-robin games against Galway next Sunday in Nowlan Park and the away trip to Wexford on 15 June.

With the new provincial championship structure, he is a perfect example of how players can find their summer curtailed by the unfortunate timing of an injury.

“It was sort of a twist with a hyper-extension involved so I was lucky I didn’t do any other damage to it. There’s a silver lining to everything, but it’s not an ideal time to be injured, it’s going to be hard to get the pace back now.

“You don’t want to be missing games. You don’t want to be injured anyway, but you don’t want to be missing games. That’s the way it’s gone now with the inter-county season, if you do pick up a knock now or anything like that, you could miss three quarters of it. There are a big couple of games coming up now.”

The goalkeeper will not be the only leading light on the injury list for next Sunday’s tie. Galway continue to operate without their attacking talisman Joe Canning.

“Joe has been the best player in the country over the last couple of years. He won Hurler of the Year two years ago. He was probably unlucky not to win it last year, some people would say he had an even better year last year.

“A player of that calibre, he is going to be missed. You see the players they still have, if you go through their six forwards, they’d get on most inter-county teams across the country.

“They do have a good panel there. Their underage set-ups for the last 10 or 15 years with Mattie Murphy involved have been phenomenal. I’m not going to say he’s not going to be missed. he certainly will be. They have brilliant players to step up to the mark there. I have not doubt that they will, we’ll need to be on top of our game.”

Away from Kilkenny matters, Murphy frequently tunes in to other hurling showdowns. He played at college level in WIT with a collection of established Waterford players like Stephen O’Keeffe and Pauric Mahony, captaining a team to Fitzgibbon Cup glory in 2014.

Eoin Murphy lifts the Fitzgibbon Cup in Belfast in 2014.

Source: Presseye/Declan Roughan/INPHO

Is he surprised by the slump the Deise side are currently enduring in Munster?

“Definitely. I would have hurled with a lot of them lads in WIT. You know, your home games are absolutely massive, they’re vital for setting out a good stall. It was massive for the whole county to have the two home games in Walsh Park this year.

“Like, a puck of the ball and they could have come out the other side of the result against Clare and their season could have taken off. There’s massive quality down there, I just don’t know, a small thing against Clare and their season could have been completely different.”

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