GAA Football

Forward Connor McAliskey targeting March return with Tyrone

GAA All- Ireland Senior Championship Round 1 Meath v Tyrone.09/06/2018.Tyrone Connor McAliskey .Pic Philip Walsh.
Neil Loughran

TYRONE forward Connor McAliskey is aiming to return in time for the second half of the Red Hands' National League campaign as he steps up his recovery from a dislocated ankle.

The Clonoe ace suffered the gruesome injury during his club's county championship defeat to Ardboe last September, just weeks after Tyrone's All-Ireland final to Dublin, and underwent three operations in the weeks that followed.

However, McAliskey's comeback is going according to plan. He has started back running in recent weeks, and is targeting a return to inter-county action at the start of March.

“It's coming on well,” said the 27-year-old, who will be in Killarney with the Tyrone panel this weekend as they prepare for their Division One opener against Kerry.

“I had a wee bit of tightness in around the ankle joint and a bit of a problem with the range of movement, trying to get it all loosened up after everything had been reconstructed and fixed up.

“But thankfully I'm back running on the pitch the last couple of weeks, and now I'm just trying to get out and get 5K through the legs.

“Hopefully next week I can do a bit of single leg jumping and landing, twisting and turning, just start ramping it all up.

“Before the McKenna Cup games I've been joining in the kick passing and stuff; kicking feels very comfortable, now it's just about getting that pain-free running and moving up through the paces.

“I know when it happened in September I was targeting six months, then I planned to take a bit off that. If it all keeps going well, I'm sort of hoping the start of March.”

It is two years this month since McAliskey suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury that ruled him out of Tyrone's 2017 campaign. He bounced back impressively last year, and is hoping to return in similarly emphatic fashion this time around.

“You see a lot of boys coming back to running now so you'd hope you wouldn't be too far away.

“When you have a run of games in the League coming up, it gives you that wee bit of extra motivation to get going. I'm hoping to be back to full training in the next four or five weeks, then try and get back into contention to play.”

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