RUAIRI Deane is facing at least four months on the sideline stretching deep into the summer – but it’s likely that he won’t miss one game.
The Bantry Blues star suffered a hamstring injury during a Cork training session on Thursday, February 27th that rules him out of action for four months, so a July return is the earliest he can expect to be back.
Deane would have missed the end of Cork’s Division 3 league campaign and the likely league final, as well as the entire Munster championship, but it looks now that he won’t miss a single match due to all GAA activities being suspended because of the Covid-19 crisis.
‘Four months is not a bad time-frame to be looking at given the injury, and the way things are panning out not much is happening in the GAA while I am off,’ Deane told The Southern Star.
These days, the Bantry man is resting, letting his hamstring heal after he underwent surgery in London in early March. It was the same surgeon who operated on Brian Hurley’s career-threatening hamstring injury.
Deane knows, however, that he could possibly face longer than four months out given the current Covid-19 situation will limit his access to facilities he’d ordinarily avail of to rehab.
‘Rehab isn’t my priority at the moment,’ the Beara Community School teacher explained.
‘I’m on the couch, working from home on the computer for six, seven, eight hours a day, and then getting up and going to the kitchen and back – that’s as much as my rehab is for the first six weeks.
‘I’m not doing much, it’s all resting I have to let the damage repair and heal so it will be after six weeks where I start rehabbing. There was a six, seven-week timeframe on that, but we have no access to anything at the moment so whether that will hold it up or not, nobody knows.
‘There is a sense that I might not miss a game but I could also miss out on quality access to professionals given that they are so busy with their own jobs at the moment.’
When the news broke last month of Deane’s injury, before the GAA shut down, it was a big blow to Cork as he has matured into one of this team’s leaders. He has been a go-to man for the Rebels in recent seasons, and while he knew he was in trouble after suffering the injury at training he initially didn’t fear the worst.
‘We were training the Thursday night before the Derry game, I kicked a football and felt a pull at the back of my leg,’ Deane explained.
‘I pulled out of training and I told the physio that I felt a bit of a pull down towards my knee. I walked off the pitch myself. It wasn’t like I was roaring and screaming. It felt like a normal injury.
‘I remember in my head thinking “will I be alright for the weekend?” Obviously, I wasn’t.’
Deane was sent for a scan the following Monday. The results came back on Tuesday – it wasn’t good news.
‘It showed that where the muscle joins the bone, the tendon had torn a bit off,’ he said.
The following Friday, April 3rd, Deane was in London for a consultation with the surgeon. He underwent an operation on Saturday morning and he was back home in Bantry by Sunday evening.
‘It’s worse than a normal hamstring injury,’ Deane admitted, adding, ‘When you need surgery it is serious enough.
‘The surgeon said too that it’s common enough and easy to fix. He said it generally happens when you are fatigued and kicking – and I was those two things at the time.’
Deane is in the rest, recover and relax stage now, and he’s no good at the latter. On a normal week, he could clock up 800 kilometres driving between school in Castletownbere and inter-county training in the city, and that’s not including all those short trips locally too.
What is keeping him busy is preparing work for his exam classes and maintaining that link with them remotely, to keep the show ticking along as much as he possibly can.
These are challenging times for everyone, he adds, and people have to adapt, including himself.