I’ve done some enquiring today about the situation regarding Cillian’s injury and having spoken with well-placed sources it’s clear that the injury is a serious one and it will definitely rule him out of the Roscommon match in three weeks time. He’s due to be assessed this coming week to see if surgery is an immediate requirement and if it is (which it may or may not be, this will depend on the assessment) that’s likely to be it for this year for the two-times Young Footballer of the Year.
If surgery isn’t required immediately, I’m told that an operation will be needed in any case later in the year so a number of months post-surgery recuperation will be on the cards at some point, either straight away or later in the year. Even if an operation doesn’t have to be undertaken now, it’s still very likely that the injury will rule Cillian out for some time, which means that at the very least we shouldn’t be under any illusions that he’ll be back anytime soon. Depressing news, I know, but that’s the way it is.
The County Board have tonight confirmed the position regarding Cillian with this statement, which reads in full as follows:
On Saturday 25th May while on club championship duty for Ballintubber, Cillian O’Connor suffered what can be described as quite a significent shoulder injury. The injury sustained was to the same shoulder as Cillian previously hurt last October. While the initial diagnosis is that Cillian has suffered a dislocated shoulder to a similar injury suffered last year, more assessment is needed. Cillian will undergo a further scan next Thursday and will meet with the specialists then to determine the extent of the injury and the treatment required. Cillian will continue to work with the excellent medical team who will no doubt have Cillian back playing for Mayo as soon as he is physically able to. In the meantime we wish Cillian all the best in his recovery and look forward to seeing him again very soon in the Green & Red of Mayo.
The above statement is fairly carefully worded, laying plenty of stress on the need for further assessment and the decisions that’ll need to be taken later in the week about the medical treatment that will be required. However, the description of the injury as “significant” mirrors the language used by the Board in their official statement last August when Andy Moran did his cruciate and the bit about having Cillian back playing “as soon as he is physically able to” is, I think, a bit of a giveaway too. In other words, nobody should be getting their hopes up about an early return to the fray for the talented Ballintubber man.
From James Horan’s vantage point, the only thing that matters right now is that Cillian won’t, like Michael Conroy and maybe a few others as well, be available for selection to face Roscommon on June 16th. It’s this match and who’ll be available for selection for us that we need to keep focused on, not least because, after today’s shock result in Ruislip, the Rossies – who, from what I’m hearing, will be a hell of a lot better drilled this year than they were twelve months ago (not difficult, I know) – will know that if they manage to upset the applecart on us, a handy Connacht title awaits for them.
As a result, loose talk about who might or might not be available for us in August or September is, I reckon, best avoided right now. Instead, we need to concentrate our thoughts on the resources still available to us to face the Sheepstealers three weeks from now. As ever in the Championship, it’s a case of one match at a time.