GAA Football

Derry forward Enda Lynn targets end of league return

Enda Lynn is stretchered off the field after breaking his ankle towards the end of Saturday night’s Dr McKenna Cup final at the Athletic Grounds  
Cahair O'Kane

DERRY forward Enda Lynn hopes to be back for the end of his side’s National League campaign, and says that his broken ankle was “a total accident”.

The Oak Leaf forward had a superb game in Saturday night’s Dr McKenna Cup final before becoming tangled in a seemingly innocuous challenge from Tyrone substitute Conall McCann, who went to try and block the ball towards the end of extra-time.

The Greenlough man was stretchered off and taken to Craigavon Hospital, where doctors confirmed that he had suffered a clean break just above the ankle.

“I think it was a sheer accident, there was nothing of it,” he said.

“I genuinely think two teams go out to play football. I don’t believe in people going out to do people injuries.

“If there’s a ball there to go and win, you don’t pull out of it. I don’t think there was any intent, to be honest.

“You’ve had worse tackles and nothing of it. It was more my standing foot took me. Once my foot was standing and someone came in from the side, that’s how you can do cruciates and ankles, when they catch you on your standing foot and it can’t go anywhere.”

Once the initial pain had washed over the 28-year-old, he says there was a brief spell of hope while he was in the Athletic Grounds’ changing room.

“I knew because I felt the break, I knew rightly. My first instinct was to lift my leg up, I was hoping that the ankle wasn’t turned around. It was painful at that time.

“When I got stretchered into the changing room I started doubting myself, thinking maybe it wasn’t broken at all.

“But the medical team said that was how you knew it was broke, when there was no swelling at that time and it’s not sore. Their instinct was that it was a clean break. When I went to hospital then it was swollen away up.”

After showing good form during the McKenna Cup, Lynn hopes to see action before the end of the League, but says he will be sensible.

He avoided surgery but may still require pins if the ankle doesn’t begin to heal properly over the next week.

“It’s the best of a bad situation,” he said. “They have a bracket of six to eight weeks in a cast, and then four or five weeks after that before you’re back out on the field again. 

“You’re talking in around 12 weeks in total really.

“I want to be back sooner than that. It definitely is do-able. Some people heal quicker than others. Hopefully I’m one of those people that heals quickly.

“But if the worst case scenario was that I am going to miss the whole of the National League, I’ll do the thing right and get ready for Championship, instead of trying to force it.”

At 28, it is the first serious injury of Lynn’s career. It will be the longest break he has ever had from training.

“I’d be naturally fit, so I’m hoping it won’t take me too long to get back into shape. I’ll keep myself active in terms of upper body, whatever I can do to help myself.”

It also means a minimum of a six-week lay-off from work for the newly-married shuttering joiner, who plies his trade with Creagh Concrete.

He said: “At the minute I’m off work for six weeks until I’m fit to walk on my two feet. Once I get the cast off, you’re talking a week or two to get the bearings back. 

“Once you get back up you can start to look about running then hopefully.”

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