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Armagh captain Ciaran McKeever hopes to play on for 'another year or two'

Armagh captain Ciaran McKeever is aiming to line out in county colours for the next 'year or two'
Neil Loughran

ARMAGH stalwart Ciaran McKeever hopes to be involved with Armagh for “another year or two” - as long as he remains injury-free.

The Orchard captain is currently on the comeback trail after undergoing knee surgery in February and injuries have forced him to miss some crucial Championship games in recent years.

However, after missing almost all of Armagh’s Division Two campaign - which ended in relegation - McKeever is aiming to return to county colours in Armagh’s Ulster Championship clash with Cavan on May 29. And the 32-year-old, who made his Orchard debut in 2002, believes he can continue to play at inter-county level for the foreseeable future.

“It’s hard to know - there’s a lot of commitment involved,” he said.

“At my age now, I review it every year and see how the body feels, how the injuries feel and review it at that point. I feel that, if the body’s good and I’m injury free, I could play another year or two, in whatever role that is. It’s something I enjoy and I love pulling on that Armagh jersey, so I’ll enjoy it while I can until I know the time is right.

“I’m at it 14 years and it doesn’t last forever, as much as you’d like it to, so you have to be sensible and know when the time’s right. But I’ll review it at the end of the year and take it from there.”

Although he has rued missing out on big Championship games with Armagh in recent seasons, McKeever says all players have to be “realistic” about the possibility of picking up injuries on the field of play.

“We play a contact sport - you’re not going to slow up or pull out of tackles,” said the Cullyhanna man.

“You have to be realistic. I could understand being frustrated if I was picking up wee hamstring injuries, calf injuries, stuff like that there, but in the past few years they have all been impact injuries, so there’s nothing you can do about it.

“As much as rehab is painful, you really enjoy it because it gives you the opportunity to refocus and reset things and you come out of it in a really good place. Hopefully, I’ll be back up to the pace in the next couple of weeks and I’ll be ready to go again.”

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