CONAL KEANEY was enduring a double injury agony last night when it emerged that the Dublin hurling superstar had suffered a torn cruciate ligament, as well as a broken ankle, in a motorbike accident yesterday.
It was initially believed Keaney had escaped with just a bad ankle injury when he was involved in an accident while driving his bike to work in Blessington yesterday morning.
But more detailed scans last night confirmed that the unfortunate Ballyboden St Enda’s star has also suffered a torn cruciate in his opposite knee and now looks likely to need surgery on both of his legs.
Keaney’s loss is a massive one to the Dublin hurlers who face Limerick in the All-Ireland quarter-finals tomorrow. His decision to quit the county footballers and throw his lot in exclusively with their hurlers this year has been central to their big season to date, which included beating Kilkenny in the Allainz League final.
Last night’s prognosis was dreadful news for Keaney, signalling the nightmare scenario of a double surgery and a difficult rehab, all on the eve of the biggest game in his hurling career.
His loss to Dublin will force manager Anthony Daly into a major reshuffle of his team.
Earlier in the day, it was indicated that Daly would still go ahead and name a team but that selection was postponed and it remains to be seen how Dublin will compensate for the loss of their pivotal forward.
They were already resigned to being without defenders Stephen Hiney and Tomas Brady.
However, given the nature of his accident, there was also great relief in Dublin hurling circles last night that Keaney’s injuries were not more severe.
He was initially treated in Tallaght Hospital and later went to the Santry Sports Clinic, where Dr Ray Moran, brother of for Irish soccer star and Dublin hero Kevin, and one of the country’s top sports injury specialists, assessed his injuries.
It emerged fairly quickly that Keaney had broken an ankle and would need surgery on it before further scans revealed his double blow.
“Our thoughts and best wishes go to Conal and we are all relieved that his injuries were not more serious,” said a Dublin spokesman last night.
– Cliona Foley