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August comeback date in Dublin forward Brogan's sights after cruciate operation

Alan Brogan believes we haven’t seen the last of his brother in action for Dublin.

BERNARD BROGAN IS set to target an August comeback date in the wake of undergoing an operation last week to repair the cruciate ligament damage he suffered in a training session with Dublin.

Bernard Brogan Bernard Brogan has won five All-Ireland senior medals with Dublin. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The occurrence of the injury is a major setback but his older brother Alan believes the 2010 Footballer of the Year will be keen not to see his inter-county career end in these circumstances.

“I obviously knew before it got out in the public domain and he was fairly upbeat about it, as he is about most things.

“I think it was a shooting drill at the end of a session and I think he just lost a ball in the lights. Just twisted (the knee). There was no contact. It was very innocuous.

“He had the operation last Tuesday and he’s back on his feet now. He’s out and about and he was with the physio there on Monday. So he’s back on the road to recovery.

Bernard Brogan with Peter Kelly and David Slattery Bernard Brogan started in Dublin's league opener against Kildare. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“He’s looking at how quick can you get back and I think he’ll give it a lash to try and get back for probably August time, the six month mark.

“It’s still probably a big ask for a 34-year-old. But I know with work, he probably does have that flexibility that if he does have to devote a certain amount of time to it, he probably can and I think that’s what he’ll aim for.

“He’ll try and get back for the end of the championship. I think he was telling me that Fergus McFadden got back in four and a half so I’m not sure he’ll beat that!

“I suppose to feature this year, he’d need to get back by the six month mark.”

The 19th Annual KN Group All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge Launch Alan Brogan at the launch of the 19th annual KN Group All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge yesterday. Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

Alan didn’t feel it was an option for Bernard to avoid going down the surgery route and focus on rehabilitating his ACL by building up the knee.

“He might have thought about it for a couple of days, I think, but my initial thoughts on that would have been that in the position he plays, there’s a lot of sharp turning and movement.

“So I think he’s made the right decision and I think once he got that straight in his head, he got the operation done quickly as well.

“I think you have to wait until the swelling comes down. I don’t think it actually swelled up that bad, so he was able to get the operation quite quickly.

“It’s great to have the likes of the Santry sports clinic there now, you can be in or out in a couple of days.

“He’ll work very closely with the physios, with James Allen and Ciarán O’Reilly, and the guys have been through this before.

“Obviously there have been loads of cruciates around so they can do the measurements on the muscles now, so it’s probably more advanced again than when Bernard last did it.

“Obviously, it’s very difficult to say where he’ll be in three or four months time. But he’s very focused underneath it all.

Bernard Brogan and David Hyland Bernard Brogan in action against Kildare's David Hyland in late January. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“And if he has to do the work to get back, if he has to go to the gym twice a day, he will do that.

“If it was me and I had to go to the gym twice a day at this stage of my life, I would obviously struggle with that.

“But I think he has that flexibility that he could do that. So I’d give him a chance of getting back this year.

“I think for now he’ll just try and focus on getting back for that August date.”

Jim Gavin and Bernard Brogan celebrate Jim Gavin and Bernard Brogan celebrate Dublin's 2017 All-Ireland final victory over Mayo. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

If the four-time All-Star winner does manage to get restored to full fitness by the closing stages of the 2018 championship, the challenge of breaking into that competitive Dublin attack will be a considerable one.

Yet the prospect of Bernard attempting to play again in 2019 seems greater in his brother’s eyes in the wake of this injury news.

“He obviously took a while to make his decision after the end of last year. Probably similar to myself, he probably said he would give it one last lash.

“He didn’t go on the team holiday, he was working away from early with a hope of getting some good early runs in the league.

“The work he put in in the first six or eight weeks of the season are wasted. So I think it would have been (his last year) but considering this, I wouldn’t rule him out of next year just yet.

“If it pushes on to the All-Ireland semi-final stage (this year), unless he comes back in really good form, it’s hard to see anyone forcing their way back into the team at that stage.

“I know myself in 2013, I got back for the semi-final stage and obviously got back on the bench for the final and was actually in pretty good form.

Bernard Brogan celebrates winning with his brother Alan Brogan Bernard and Alan Brogan celebrating Dublin's 2013 All-Ireland final victory. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“But Jim just went with the lads who were tested over that campaign.

“If he has only a year left, he may as well throw everything he has into trying to get back.

“And if he can’t get back this year, he might just decide he will give it one more (year) and see where it takes him.

“But it does get harder and harder. He’ll be 35 next year and it’s a difficult team to get into at the best of times.

“And when you look at what Jim has done over the last couple of years, he seems to have moved the older fellas onto the bench and he’s bringing through the younger guys.

“If I was manager and you had fellas with that sort of talent coming through, I’d probably do the same.

“I’d be surprised if we don’t see him pulling on the jersey again at some stage.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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