The Kilmacud club man Cian O’Sullivan is currently recovering from a dislocated shoulder.
With most Dublin footballers back with their clubs following their Allianz National League Division 1 win over Galway it’s business as usual before preparations for the upcoming Leinster Championship series at the end of May.
Dublin Manager Jim Gavin will be fairly content that the majority of his ranks are ready and available for action when the time comes. And he’ll have certainly been bouyed by the performances of many new players in the Allianz League.
Cian O’Sullivan has pretty much done it all in his nine odd years as a Senior Footballer. And having recently turned 30, and also getting engaged to his long term partner Danielle Byrne, the year has not been so bad off the field.
But it’s on the field that O’Sullivan would really want to be to complete the total package.
Having only made substitute appearances against Donegal and Mayo this year, Jim Gavin finally handed Cian a start against Kerry in Croke Park on March 11th. With about 6 minutes of normal time remaining, O’Sullivan’s season was to take a detour that would eventually end up in an operating theatre.
“It was agony, yeah, just when the shoulder is popped out.” Cian told the Herald, describing the dislocation.
“Then the physios came on and they’re able to just give it a slight, very gentle nod in the right direction and it slipped back in.”
O’Sullivan however admitted no surprise to the injury when it happened, as it was something he’d been dealing with for some time.
“I had a kind of ongoing problem for the last six months and it was just progressively getting worse,” he explained.
“It never popped out, but there’s a labrum in between the ball and the socket of the shoulder joint and that was just all torn, so they’ve to go and repair that and stabilise the shoulder.”
No stranger to rehab for injuries, Cian, now over five weeks after the injury, has had the surgery and is throwing everything at recovery, as he’s done before.
The Leinster Campaign will most certainly arrive too soon, but Cian won’t want to miss the first Super 8 competition in the All Ireland Series.
“I’d be quite disappointed if I wasn’t back training fully at that stage.”
“You kind of get told a few different return-to-play times, from four months back to three months,” he outlines. “I’ll just throw the kitchen sink at it in terms of rehab and see where I get to.”
The fact that O’Sullivan has started in all of Dublin’s five recent All Ireland wins is a credit to the determination of the Kilmacud Crokes man.
In 2011 he recalls doing his hamstring countless times, but was back fit and hungry a couple of weeks before the quarter finals.
In 2015, he once again did his hamstring, this time at the end of Dublin’s Semi Final replay win over Mayo, but still managed to make the final against Kerry and pick up yet aonther All Ireland medal. And that one hold a very special place for O’Sullivan.
“It was really touch-and-go to make that final,” he admitted. “I lived and breathed rehab for two weeks. Cryotherapy, everything that was suggested to me, I tried it. Thankfully I lasted 60 minutes against Kerry.”
“Definitely, from a personal perspective, it was the one that stands out for me. To sit back afterwards and go, ‘wow, I really worked my socks off there for those two weeks and it paid off’.”
So rule Cian O’Sullivan out of a return sooner than later? I wouldn’t bet against it.