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04th Oct 2022

Paul Mannion’s return to Dublin panel may have to wait following serious injury

Lee Costello

“It’s not good unfortunately.”

Kilmacud Crokes have booked themselves into another final as they are set to take on Na Fianna in the Dublin senior championship, but will have to do so without their star man.

Just like last season when the sharp shooter had to miss out on the Leinster final, Paul Mannion has picked up another serious injury that will see him on the sidelines for quite some time.

The flying forward was forced to come off in their quarter final win over Cuala, and it has since been revealed by Crokes manager that it is more serious than they feared.

“It’s not good unfortunately,” Robbie Brennan told RTE Sport.

“We thought he wouldn’t be too bad because he was walking after Cuala game and we felt it wouldn’t be too bad. But he went in for surgery on Thursday just gone, so he’s gone long-term now.

“He’s looking at a rehab programme. Surgery went well so he’s getting stuck into it now. I think the recovery period is three months for surgery like that, for the ankle.

“We won’t be trying to rush him back. He has a full inter-county season ahead with Dessie and the lads, and I’m sure that’ll be his focus going forward.”

Dublin fans were delighted when Dessie Farrell revealed that the former All-Star and his old teammate Jack McCaffrey would be rejoining the county panel.

However, with the split season set up the way it is, Mannion will undoubtedly miss the remainder of the club season, even if they were to reach another club All-Ireland final, as they did last year.

The inter-county season is due to be kicking off in January, meaning that pre-season is just around the corner and Mannion will be spending most of that time working on his rehab.

With the county set up so condensed now, ironically one of the reasons the former All-Ireland winner is returning, it means that he won’t have much time to reintroduce himself to that level.

Jim Gavin says Mannion and McCaffrey’s return to Dublin won’t be “simple.”

Former Dublin manager Jim Gavin recently said on Newstalk that the return of Mannion and McCaffrey was “great” but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easy.

“How well they integrate will be up to them. It is a big ask. It’s not a simple as plug and play if I’m honest. A lot of water has gone under the bridge.

“Time waits for no player. That’s what I learnt during my time as Dublin football manager, but it’s great to have them. Yes on the pitch, whether they start or finish games, it’s great for the management team to have that option.

“But probably moreso off the pitch, they are two phenomenal men, real rounded characters and they have contributed immensely to the collective culture, the environment that they have and the values of that Dublin set-up. It’s a good news story.”

When you have the calibre and talent that Mannion has, then his comeback on the county scene can be nothing but a bonus for Dublin, but this injury certainly makes an already tricky return that little bit more difficult.

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