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Tuesday 17 September 2019

Melee in Tralee led to Geaney's injury

KNEESY DOES IT: Kerry and Dingle footballer Paul Geaney. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
KNEESY DOES IT: Kerry and Dingle footballer Paul Geaney. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

It was, Paul Geaney agrees, the strangest injury he has ever suffered. Not because of its nature - a knee problem that many footballers encounter - but rather how it happened.

Geaney's misfortune was to find himself underneath a scrum when last February's Allianz League thriller in Tralee between Kerry and Dublin delivered a feisty sequel, in the guise of a post-match melee.

By then the 2014 All-Ireland winner wasn't even playing, having coming off during the second half.

"I ended up like a turtle on the ground with my legs in the air," he recalled at yesterday's AIB football championship launch.

"It was the strangest (injury) I've picked up on a field, having not been in competition."

Further enquiries reveal that "two fellas" fell on top of him. Dubs or Kerry men?

"One of each, a nice mix. I felt it straight away, I thought I was in more trouble than I was ... I was thinking, 'My year is over here.' Luckily it wasn't. It was basically a nothing thing, it just wouldn't clear up so I had to get a tidy-up. It could be worse. Peter Crowley was playing a club game last month and did damage, I'm not sure what he's looking at but he's a big loss for us."

As for his own 'peacekeeping' role, Geaney explained: "It was Peter I was actually trying to pick off the ground, I was just bending down ... out of the side of my eye then I just saw two bodies come. It was just a freak thing.

"I just felt pressure straight away going into the knee. It was a weird sensation, I was kind of light-headed and stuff. I was like, 'Yeah, this isn't good.'

"Then I woke up on the Sunday and I couldn't move ... the Monday then I was walking again so it was just one of those strange things."

Geaney subsequently had minor surgery to repair some "small" ligament and cartilage damage. He sat out Kerry's next four Division 1 outings but returned as a fourth quarter sub in their league final defeat to Mayo.

"I was happy to get that because I'd gotten the tidy-up in Santry and that game gave me some light at the end of the tunnel," he explained. "I knew I had a chance and I was delighted to be involved."

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