Galway's Mulkerrin on the comeback trail after knee injury
By John Harrington
Galway defender Seán Mulkerrin’s rehab from a serious knee injury is coming along slowly but surely.
The Aran Islander broke his patella playing for NUI Galway in the Sigerson Cup at the start of the year and admits himself it was something of a freak injury.
“I had my feet planted and was static and then just this small corner forward, nothing big, he's just coming at speed and whichever way he jumped in, he just hit the bull's eye I suppose,” said Mulkerrin at the launch of AIB's new GAA content series, TheDrive. “And it just kind of shattered, I suppose, is the word that they were using.
“It's coming along slow, but it's always gonna be slow because it's not a injury that comes along every day in the GAA I suppose. But it's getting there. I'm actually back jogging very slowly. Nothing too taxing. But yeah, that's where I'm at the minute.”
Mulkerrin had made the Galway number three jersey his own over the course of the past couple of years and admits accepting that he was going to miss for what’s already been a memorable season for the Connacht champions was hard to take.
“Yeah, it was very tough mentally now, like nothing I've experienced before,” he said. “It's my first kind of major injury. Like I've had a few groins and a few hammers, but not nothing crazy like that.
“In terms of kind of mentally challenging, it was definitely challenging because you go from planning...the Sigerson game I came on with 20 minutes to go and I was kind of building because I was actually out with a groin strain at the time.
“So it was actually building up fitness and getting back into training. And then your goals all of a sudden change to wanting to push to get on the team for the first league game against Meath to trying to put on your shoe or your sock by yourself so It certainly did change and was challenging but luckily with people around me, I kind of got through it. I'm kind of past that stage now thankfully.”
Mulkerrin is back jogging now but has resigned himself to missing out on the rest of Galway’s championship campaign regardless of how far they go.
He still has hopes though of playing some club football before the year is out.
“After talking to physios and doctors in the setup, I suppose, the first aim was probably to see if I could get back this year for inter-county season and when that wasn't really kind of a realistic goal the next goal was to get to play some part of club season and that's what I'm working towards,” he says.
“If I do it's great, but if I don't then it might be a blessing in itself because that extra month might actually not set you back as much then further down the line when the games start rolling and your body tries to keep up with the games and the training and whatnot.”
Mulkerrin will be on water-boy duty for Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final against Armagh and says everyone in the Galway camp believes there’s a huge opportunity now to mount a serious challenge for the Sam Maguire Cup.
“Oh, for sure, yeah,” he says. “ I suppose with Tyrone winning it last year just shows and them being gone shows how competitive it actually is. Because the champions are gone and it's anyone's game now really. It just depends who shows up on the day.”