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Arlene return Cushens woe

After a disappointing campaign at senior level, there were few enough crumbs of comfort for the Dublin camogie fraternity, but the return from injury of Na Fianna's Arlene Cushen was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak summer for the Dubs.

Arlene, who plays both football and camogie for her club, suffered a debilitating cruciate injury last autumn while training ahead of the 1st round of the Leinster club championship and the innocuous-looking nature of her injury echoes that experienced by Henry Shefflin in last Sunday week's All-Ireland semi-final against Cork.

"I remember I was just trying to go past someone in training and the next thing I felt a bit of pain. I was able to walk off the pitch easily enough but the next morning when I woke up I realised I couldn't put any pressure on my knee so I knew it was serious enough," said Arlene.



Frustrating

An MRI scan was arranged where the true extent of the injury was diagnosed with Arlene finding the rehabilitation process a frustrating one.

"Things had been going so well so it was difficult from that point of view. I missed the routine of going to the gym regularly and it was very difficult when club and county matches were taking place," added the 1st year student in St Patrick's Drumcondra.

Rather than mope about the cruel and random nature of her injury, Arlene continued to attend training sessions with the Dubs, something she found very beneficial to her recuperation.

"To be honest, going to all the training sessions helped an awful lot as I still felt part of the panel and it was a lot easier for me when I finally returned to the panel and was included for the championship game against Cork."

Despite the less than favourable results, Arlene was thrilled to be part and parcel of the panel again and has high hopes for the coming years, both on an individual, and team level.

"I was personally delighted to get back but the results were disappointing. However, we're a very young panel and we're building for the future which is important for Dublin camogie. Hopefully, we can progress from this year's disappointments," she said.

Arlene will continue to be in demand by both club and county with her next assignment a tricky looking semi-final football replay against Ballyboden St Enda's tomorrow evening but irrespective of the result, the real winner will be Arlene herself with a bright future ahead of her in both codes.