Kilkenny star, T.J. Reid, is on the mend, but it will be months before he is back in action on the hurling stage with either club or county, writes John Knox.
The stylish Ballyhale Shamrocks attacker received a smashed left kneecap minutes form the end of the All-Ireland final replay victory over Galway, and while he is off crutches and walking without pain, he is a long way from resuming his playing career.
“Things are going well,” said the upbeat 25-year-old. “The injury is improving, but it is slow. I am doing the rehab work and taking things slowly.”
T.J. is back in full harness as a sales representative with Connolly’s Red Mill and he is looking foward to getting back playing, but he knows that is a long way off.
“I am not setting any deadline for a return,” he said. “I would hope to play some part in the League campaign. I will be guided by the medical team. I am not rushing things. You know your own body and how far you can push it. Progress is along expected lines, and I am not going to do anything to interfere with that.”
T.J. had a consultation in Waterford with orthopaedic surgeon, Tadgh O’Sullivan before Christmas and he was told the bone was healing nicely. He is due back for a further check up in late January or early February when it is expected the knee will be opened again to take out the wires and pins holding the kneecap in place.
“That procedure will put me back a bit I have been told, but I will be able to press on again shortly afterwards,” he explained.
Bending the knee is “very difficult” at the moment, but he is pain free when walking.
“While there is pain, it is nothing unusual or out of the ordinary,” T.J. explained. “The good thing is that I am able to walk and cycle, so that is encouraging. There is pain during rehab work, but nothing that shouldn’t be there.”
T.J. said he would hope to resume running during the next month or so.
“After that I don’t know,” he continued. “When I get back running I will have a better idea about when I might be able to get back playing.
“I am looking forward to getting back running. I know I am making progress. I didn’t run since before the All-Ireland final. Actually, I am looking forward to getting in a good run.
“I am coming along nicely now and I don’t want to push things. The knee hasn’t swelled up or anything during the rehab work, which is good. The things I am doing are working. The knee feels stronger every week.”
T.J. got to enjoy the players’ recent holiday in New York and Jamaica, but now his main concentration is on getting his knee sorted.
“I am pleased enough with things,” he insisted. “I am where I should be in terms of the recovery. The knee is improving every week. Things are going very well.”