Restricted to just two championship games last year, the Tipperary players and supporters alike are itching to get back into action this weekend and none more so than Paul Curran, who’s returning from a long injury lay-off, writes Eamonn Wynne.
Although unlikely to feature in Sunday’s match against Limerick, the Mullinahone player is back training following a hip operation that has kept him sidelined since last year, and glad to be at the end of a long rehabilitation process.
“I played the last club game at the end of June. That was ten days before the Kilkenny game and we thought it was a stress fracture. It had been at me since last May. They said to rest it for three or four months, which I did, and when I went back I played the Super 11s hurling because I was so eager to play some bit of hurling. I knew something wasn’t right so I went for an MRI scan and something showed up in the hip”.
The long road to recovery started the day after the operation when he sat on an exercise bike.”It wasn’t sore, only three out of ten pain-wise. I thought once I had twelve weeks reached that I would be playing but it didn’t work out that way”.
However in the last three weeks the recovery has quickened and he’s delighted to be back in the fold, preparing for a game against the team that beat them at the same stage 12 months ago.
“In the first half we definitely had a few goal chances that we didn’t take and then I think the heads dropped a bit. I think Limerick were better on the day, they deserved it. They were hungrier, they won more of the dirty ball and they took their chances. They had that hurt from the year before when they felt they left it behind them. But you can’t blame anything in particular”.
While everyone was disappointed with their defeat to Kilkenny in the league final, it’s now a case of building a bridge and getting over that setback. “We met the following day and said we had to move on, because the championship is a completely different animal”, he said.