Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey had his All Ireland Final cut short just minutes into the game.
Up until that cruel turn of fate he had looked like he was going to play a major role in the game if his first foray Forward was anything to go by as the speedy Clontarf clubman left his direct marker in his wake.
But after a straight line run and an innocuous looking turn inside an oncoming player, McCaffrey crumbled on the pitch clutching his knee in pain and as feared had suffered a dreaded cruciate knee injury.
A month later Jack went under the knife of surgeon Ray Moran and is back on the road to full recovery. It’s a long road back, but McCaffrey, although reluctant to put a definitive date on his return is aiming to be back available for selection for Dublin’s Leinster Championship opener against either Wicklow or Offaly on the 27th Of May.
Speaking at the launch of the 2017 GOAL Miles in Irishtown Stadium McCaffrey spoke about the injury, how his recovery is coming along and how short term goal setting is aiding the long journey back to full fitness.
“I’ve watched it back a lot of times. It’s incredibly innocuous. I was going in a straight line; I tried to turn ever so slightly. It’s a movement I’ve done thousands of times before and hopefully will do thousands of times again but, I don’t know, the knee just didn’t fancy it that day.
“It was really bad for about 30 seconds – it was very, very sore. By the time the medics came on and I got a drink of water it had gotten quite a bit better.
“I tried to stand in the corner and make someone come and mark me, which they declined to do!
“So then I thought I could get on the ball but the lads recognised passing me the ball would not have been beneficial.”
“I’m pretty loath to try and set a date because I’ll only end up missing it, so I’m taking it in little steps,” McCaffrey stated.
“It seems like it (the Offaly/Wicklow game) will be in or around the right date but I’m not sure.”
“The way I’ve been advised to go about it is not to set dates of return to play or anything like that but to set four-week goals.
“Initially that was fully straightening the leg, then it was getting crutches. So I’m kind of excited about the next few months, going after a couple of things.”
“I’m in the gym. I started putting weight through the leg the other day for the first time,” he added.
“That is the beginning of a pretty slow process, as far as I can tell, but it’s nice to be proactively doing something as opposed to just waiting for everything to settle down.”