Seamus Harnedy set to return following back injury
By Cian O'Connell
Seamus Harnedy hopes to be involved in Sunday's Allianz Hurling League Division 1A clash between Cork and Wexford at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
Last weekend St Ita's clubman Harnedy missed Cork's opener against Kilkenny due to a back injury, but he is eager to play some part when Wexford visit Leeside.
"It is coming along nicely," Harnedy says. "I am working closely with Deccie O’Sullivan. I am hoping to be back in the mix for the weekend.
"We’ll assess it then closer to the weekend. Progress is slow since the injury last year. It is a back issue. I am just working on that and monitoring it. I just don’t want to get a relapse of it. Hopefully, I’ll be back in the mix for this weekend."
Harnedy was a key figure for divisional outfit Imokilly, who retained the Cork Senior Hurling Championship in 2018, but he took a break following that triumph.
"I did," Harnedy states. "In fairness to the lads, there was an understanding that it was nearly two full consecutive seasons where we were going to the end of the year and got very little time off.
"I’d say I only got three to four weeks off in 2017, at the end of the season, but in fairness, the lads gave me a good break after the 2018 season. They are understanding in terms of loading and understanding of the fact that the last two seasons were very busy for myself, and for a number of other members of the panel.
"Fair play to the lads, they are always keeping a close eye on lads’ workloads, especially when burnout is so topical now and fellas have so many games."
When did the back problem first become an issue for Harnedy? "I got a bit of a jerk in the county quarter-final last year with Imokilly," Harnedy recalls.
"Then I had the county junior quarter-final with St Ita’s the following week, I woke up the following morning in a considerable bit of pain.
"I just had to monitor it after that. I subsequently got an MRI at the end of the season and there was an issue with the back. The lads gave me an appropriate break and we are not rushing it back. I am feeling good."
Harnedy believes that the current League and Championship structure affords young players a real chance to shine. "With the Championship format, coupled with the League, there are a lot of games to be played," Harnedy remarks.
"You don’t want to rush it back. I probably got my opportunity starting off with the panel through other lads having injuries during League and Championship, so it is a great opportunity for the youngers lads to get in and get a bit of game-time and see how they perform at inter-county level.
"It is up to other lads to put their hand up. I certainly can’t wait to get back involved with them, as well."