Cian McWhinney's injury a source of motivation for Nemo Rangers
By John Harrington
Nemo Rangers star Paul Kerrigan admits the injury his team-mate Cian McWhinney suffered in the Cork County SFC Final replay against St. Finbarr’s put football into perspective.
Eight minutes into the match McWhinney was floored by an accidental collision and for a period of time had no feeling or movement from the neck down.
Naturally enough, at that moment in time, everyone including McWhinney feared the worst when he was stretchered off the pitch.
“It was tough, like,” said Kerrigan. “He was just flat, couldn't move on the ground and couldn't feel his arms or his legs.
“When the ref stopped play we would have spoken about it there briefly and briefly at half-time. And then after the game straight away we were asking what was happening.
“The doctor had been on to his mother a lot and it came through that by the end of the game he could feel his two arms and one of his legs. And then we heard he could feel his two legs as well so there was a bit of a relief.
“The lads brought the Cup up to him then and he actually showed up in Nemo later that evening for a bit. Yeah, it put it into huge perspective.
“For a young guy like that, it could have been taken away from him. Everything could even have been taken away from him, like.”
Thankfully McWhinney’s rehab has gone well since sustaining the injury which was diagnosed in hospital as a contusion of his spinal cord.
“Yeah, definitely making progress,” said Kerrigan. “I think his legs are going pretty good, it's just his upper body that's taking a bit more time to come back.
“Things like his grip, and tiredness kicks in a bit after a while. He's just very, very lucky.”
McWhinney hopes to play for Nemo Rangers again someday, but there are no guarantees and it’s far too early to say yet when that might be possible.
He’ll be in the team dressing-room before Sunday’s AIB Munster Club SFC Final against reigning All-Ireland Champions Dr. Crokes of Killarney, and Kerrigan says his presence alone will be a little extra source of motivation for the team.
“It would be, yeah,” said Kerrigan. “Just to have him around is pretty good He's a very nice young fella and it would be a bit of a driving cause, yeah.”
* For exclusive content and behind the scenes action throughout the AIB GAA & Camogie Club Championships follow AIB GAA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.