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'I'm not a million miles away from where he's at' - Brogan tracks cruciate recovery with Ireland's van der Flier

The Dublin star suffered the injury in February but is aiming for an August return to action.

BERNARD BROGAN REMAINS on track for a comeback to action in August as he continues his recovery from a torn cruciate.

Bernard Brogan Bernard Brogan at the launch of today's Super Valu #BehindTheBall campaign. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The five-time All-Ireland winner suffered the injury in February in a training session with Dublin but has not lost hope of featuring in the 2018 championship.

He believes an early August comeback date is a realistic goal despite the serious nature of the knee injury.

And he’s been comparing his rehabilitation with Irish rugby player Josh van der Flier, who sustained a similar injury in early February when playing against France in the Six Nations.

“I’m definitely aiming for early August. That’ll give me just over five and a half months, which is juicy for a cruciate recovery time. But it’s been done before.

“Fergus McFadden did it in four and a half months, a ream of people did it in five and a half. It’s not as if it hasn’t been done before. I’m taking a lot of energy from that type of stuff.

“I’ve been chatting away actually (with) Josh Van Der Flier, (he) got the operation the same day. I’ve been tick-tacking with him the odd time to see.

“He’s a professional, he’s people looking after him every day and he’s a big man and a young man. But yeah, I’m not a million miles away from where he’s at as well so it’s good to have that base.

Josh van der Flier receives attention for an injury Josh van der Flier receives attention after damaging his knee against France. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“Jack McCaffrey just came through it as well. He’s back flying now. So I have his scores and his timelines. He had a longer run, obviously since the All-Ireland last year.

“I kind of feel I’m just ahead of where I want to be. Time is my enemy with the summer but I’m definitely going in the right direction.”

The 2010 Footballer of the Year still feels he has something to offer to the Dublin cause and is aiming to make a key contribution rather than have a token involvement.

“That was my reason for working so hard early on in the year to try and get game time and get confidence up. I feel like I still have something to add to the group. This year how much game time I’ll get I’m not sure.

“For me, it’s trying to get some game time and to make a difference not just a token roll of the dice. I want to try and get out there add to the team. The team is so competitive, there’s so many good players, 26, 30 players that want to play so there’s going to be no token game time.

“It’s about getting out there and being able to show in training that I’m up to speed, that I look fit, that I’m able to turn and move like I’ll need to if I want to make an impact in Croke Park at that time of year which is the business end. So I’ve a lot of work to do ahead of me but I’m looking forward to it.”

Bernard Brogan Bernard Brogan in action for Dublin in last year's All-Ireland senior football final. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Brogan had initially considered not going under the knife to repair his knee but the physical work he had put in to get ready for the outset of the 2018 campaign worked in his favour as he was able to undergo surgery ten days after the incident in training.

“I don’t have the luxury of time, (but) it’s reacting quite well. It’s not too sore. I’m asking a lot of questions of it and doing everything I can do.

“I’d done so much work earlier in the year because I was keen to get back playing with Dublin and back playing ball. I was actually in quite good nick so I was able to just get the operation straight away and just get going.

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“So that kind of means I’d have a potential timeline of five and a half months. But if it’s not right come the time, I’m not going to go out there and just twist my knee for the sake of it. I’ll have given it every chance. That’s all you can do.

“Three and a half months since the operation, early days and that but every week I’m seeing a bit of progression. I’ve another few weeks of gym work before I can do straight line running on a pitch but over the next three or four weeks, I’m hoping to get out beside the lads when they’re training and start getting back on the fitness.

“My goal now is to try and put a Dublin jersey back on at some stage. I’m hoping that’ll be in August if the guys keep moving the way they’re going.

Paul Mannion and Bernard Brogan celebrate with The Sam Maguire Bernard Brogan celebrates Dublin's win over Mayo last September with Paul Mannion. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Brogan previously tore his cruciate earlier in his career and having experienced the ordeal of recovery process is a benefit on this occasion.

“Yeah when I was 20, in ’04 or ’03 on my way into my career. It was the other knee. The Brogans wouldn’t have great knees.

“My little brother Paul did three, my cousin James did three. I think the Brogans altogether did 20 cruciates or something like that, between my cousins, all the GAA people, the girl cousins that play camogie as well. So yeah we’re not great in the knee front, keeping Santry Sports Clinic open for business I think!

“I learned a lot from going through it before and I’ve taken a lot of energy from that. I think I was back on the pitch playing after six months the last time but it took me a while before I was up to full tilt, I think it was seven months before I felt right.

“So that’s not a million miles away from where I need to be now. I need to come right, come five and a half months, to get game time in August. It’s not unachievable. I think if you believe in it, you can achieve it as they say. I’m going to give it a good go.”

Thoughts of continuing beyond the 2018 season are not dominating Brogan’s thoughts at present.

“I’m not sure what way it’ll go. Whether I’ll have the ability to add something to the team come the end of the year when I sit down with Jim. My belief is that you play until you add something that no one else can in the group.

“Right now, I believe that I can add something to the team, bring something a little bit different, bring a bit of experience, a bit of guile and a bit of innovation on the pitch.

“Come the end of the year, whatever way it pans out in August, Dublin will be rolling on and we’ll sit down, measure it up, have a chat with Jim and see where we’re at – is there a role there or not?

“That’s the furthest I’m thinking ahead at the moment. It’s very much about getting back on the pitch and getting into the team.

“I have a number of small goals to get through before I get to that one.”

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