Alan Cadogan and Emlyn Mulligan agree on worst part about being injured 11 months ago

Alan Cadogan and Emlyn Mulligan agree on worst part about being injured

Alan Cadogan hopes to be back in action in a couple of weeks time.

Emlyn Mulligan has heard the three letters that every GAA player dreads on three separate occasions in his career but he's still fighting.

Call him stubborn, call him whatever you will but the truth is he doesn't know what he would do without this beautiful thing called the GAA and he'd go through hell or high water to make sure he's still involved.

ACL.

The Leitrim veteran has torn his three times and even though he could be classed as a veteran now he's still enjoying his days in the green and yellow of lovely Leitrim just as much as he did ten years ago.

Why wouldn't he be? The whole of Leitrim has been lifted twice this year by the exploits of their gaelic footballers. The first after Brendan Guckian's side eventually outlasted New York in Gaelic Park and again last weekend when they demolished Louth.

Mulligan was again the key man for the O'Rourke County on both of those days but he was only able to play a part after some iron will of his own.

In 2009 Mulligan ruptured the ACL on his right leg. That knee would again give way upon his return in 2010. For seven years the Melvin Gaels club man was in full flight before his invincible left went from under him in 2017.

For a lesser man of the age of 30, a white flag could understandably have been raised and a towel thrown in. Mugsy is made of stern stuff, though, and he admits himself that he just wouldn't know what to do without the adrenaline buzz that the GAA gives him.

"It was disappointing getting it done again last year. At the same time, I'm like, 'What else would I be at?' I enjoy the professional aspect of inter-county football," he said to Colm Parkinson on Thursday's GAA Hour Show.

"I was always eager to get back. The hunger was always there to get back. I set out my aim for that New York game."

The worst part about being on the sidelines is having to watch those games that you would be involved in. That's what motivated him on those tough days.

"It's all about being involved in that first round of the championship every year. I made sure I didn't want to be in a position just watching on, I get a great enjoyment out of representing my county and I'll keep doing it as long as I can."

It's easy to talk about that hunger but the truth is that doing your knee is a lonely place. You face a minimum of nine months on the sideline and there's always the nagging worry that you're likely to suffer the same injury again and may never regain full

Cork hurling star Alan Cadogan suffered a knee injury at the beginning of the season. Initially, there were fears that the Rebels livewire corner forward had torn his cruciate but he was glad to find out that it was a more minor issue.

He has still missed all of Cork's championship games to date and his comeback is still well down the line. The Douglas club man admits that it's a lonely spot, focusing on gym and rehabilitation work while the rest of his teammates are in full Munster final preparation.

"I'm on a strength programme at the moment, kind of isolated from the group a little while they're preparing for a Munster final on Sunday," he said on Thursday's GAA Hour Live Show in Cork.

He didn't sit around asking why he had gotten unlucky. He put the head down and put the hard work in. He's rearing to get back onto the pitch now.

"Anyone who gets an injury will tell you it's a lonely place. You've two choices, you either don't do the rehab and you won't come back stronger or you get on with it and you put yourself in the best possible position to get back as soon as you can."

Cadogan also hates being powerless on game day when he should be in corner forward tormenting back men.

"The first couple of weeks are the hardest. Watching the lads play Clare the first day and then Tipperary, you're playing every ball. It's easier play the game than watch it," he said.

"You feel useless, but once you come to terms with reality you just leave the injury run its course and then you get on with the rehab."

"There are a lot of lads in worse places than I am. An injury is difficult but there are a lot more worse off fellas than me out there at the moment."

That's an admirable outlook from the young man and all injured GAA players can learn from these two.