Brian McLoughlin of UCD and Kildare hoping shoulder stays injury-free
Electric Ireland Sigerson Cup round 2B: UCD v UCC (Belfield, Dublin, 6pm; live on www.Electricireland.ie/HEC and www.GAA.ie/GAANow)
SHOULDER to the wheel, shouldering the scoring burden…Brian McLoughlin of Kildare and UCD could do without any mentions of that part of his anatomy.
After twice undergoing reconstructive surgery, the Clane clubman is another serious shoulder injury away from the end of his playing career:
“The surgeon said he wouldn't do the surgery a third time so just touch wood I'll never have problems with the shoulder again.
“It wasn't ideal. It was tough to hear that he wasn't going to do it again. I know I'm only young at 23 to have two shoulders done but hopefully now I can stay injury-free and just mind the shoulder over the next couple of years and have a successful career.”
Injured initially as Kildare Minor captain in 2016, he “probably ended up dislocating it about 20 or 30 times because I didn't even realise until I went to Santry afterwards.
“They did a scan and the actual socket itself, the very first time, one third of that was shattered. So the shoulder was popping out easily.
“They put two screws into the shoulder and built the socket back up and obviously then I was fine for a year-and-a-half or so.
“The second time they took six centimetres of bone from my right hip and bolted it into the front of the shoulder and put two more screws in then. It feels really sturdy now. I'm probably restricted in my movement maybe by about 15 per cent but overall it feels grand now.”
Understandably, McLoughlin is delighted to be training and playing with both Kildare and UCD, and hopes to help the latter see off old rivals UCC in this evening’s Sigerson Cup round 2B clash at Belfield.
Both lost their openers last week, UCD going down 1-13 to 0-11 against IT Tralee while UCC lost to neigbours MTU Cork by 0-15 to 0-13.
McLaughlin didn’t feature in the game at the MTU Kerry campus, deciding to “take it easy” last week, with the potential of this ‘last chance saloon’ match in mind:
“I am back training fully. I trained with Kildare [and came on in the game against Carlow last week]. I just was not up to it for the full pace of championship and the full pace of the Sigerson so they said just take last week off and get it right for this week and be ready for UCC…
“Of course, it was a disappointing start. Tralee are a good old side, they have a lot of good forwards there so we knew we were going to be up against it against a good side. Luckily enough it is not [knock-out] championship so we get another chance now against UCC to rectify those problems.”