O'Sullivan proclaims himself fit and available for Dublin's Leinster semi
HISTORICALLY, when the word 'hamstring' is mentioned in the same sentence as Cian O'Sullivan, it's in the publication of bad news for the Dublin player.
And so it was last Sunday, after Dublin's bloodless filleting of Longford, when Jim Gavin explained the reason for O'Sullivan's omission for his match day panel. Gavin tends to be as non-specific as possible when asked as to the extent of any injury pertaining to a member of his squad but O'Sullivan has quelled even any short-term fears.
"Just a slight little knick on the hamstring there about ten days before the game so I wasn't match fit," he says, adding: "It's fine now.
"We had a club game scheduled for this Saturday and I would have played in that.
"But I hadn't enough training sessions under my belt to be in the reckoning for last Sunday."
Safe to say that when any player picks up a hamstring injury, even if it does amount to only 'knick' status as per O'Sullivan's diagnosis, Dublin management are cautious.When O'Sullivan is involved, it's likely to be a much graver tone of concern.
He has, in the past suffered, with hair-trigger hammers, though much of that problem appeared to have been consigned to history.
"Yeah, I haven't done the hamstring in a while," he explains.
"Just making sure now. I have a bit of time of my hands, especially because the club game was postponed.
"I just need to make sure that I get it right and take as much time as I need and maybe a little bit more on top of that just to ensure that when I do go back training next week with the team that it's feeling good and the risk of doing it again is low.
"Trial and error at this stage. I know what I need to do. I know whether it's right or not.
"If there are question marks about it, it's best not to take the risk of going back to training.
"Fortunately enough, the time of year that it is, we have time enough before Dublin are out again that I have time on my side and can take a little bit more time to make sure it's 100 per cent before going back into full training."
All of which means O'Sullivan feels he must earn back his spot in the team, most likely from one or other of Dublin's Championship debutants, given their positions in the last Sunday.
"Brian Fenton and John Small … they're really putting themselves into contention," O'Sullivan praised.
There is some great competition there. It's a very tough team to get into in any position.
"In previous years, you might have said the forward line was harder to get into. Tougher than in the back. But you look at any of the positions, it's very tough to get into there now."