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'He's shown us what way to go about life, never mind hurling' - McGrath's return from cancer battle

McGrath could feature for Tipperary in Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final.

McGrath, right, chats to Lar Corbett on the bench during the Munster SHC semi-final. McGrath is
McGrath, right, chats to Lar Corbett on the bench during the Munster SHC semi-final. McGrath is "in the mix" for Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final, manager Eamon O'Shea said.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

PADRAIC MAHER HAS hailed the inspirational impact of team-mate Noel McGrath following his return to the Tipperary squad.

McGrath was diagnosed with testicular cancer earlier this year and was expected to miss the remainder of the season following surgery in April.

But the Allstar forward made enough progress to resume full training and Tipp boss Eamon O’Shea said he is ‘in the mix’ for Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling semi against Galway.

“It was fantastic to see him,” Maher said.

“From what he went through in the middle of April there, it was great to see him back involved. And he’s after getting a few club games now, so it’s a good lift to have him around the place.

It puts everything — winning games and trophies and stuff — into perspective. It’s all about being in the full of your health and being able to take part, and it’s great to have him back.

McGrath scored five points from play when Tipp beat Galway in the qualifiers last summer and Maher hopes he can be involved in Croke Park this weekend.

“It’s going to take him a while to get to probably his 100%, which is going to take him probably a year or so, but it’s great to have him back in again.

“He’s looking strong, he’s doing everything, he’s back doing all the training and gym work. Hopefully he’ll be involved, either way, (against Galway).”

He added:

He didn’t put the head down. He didn’t put himself under any pressure.

“He took everything on head-on, and in a way he’s shown the rest of us what way to go about life, never mind hurling.

“It’s great and he’s a role model and person to look up to after what he’s been through.”

How will Tipperary handle the Galway Glynn colossus in Croke Park next Sunday?

‘They told me my career was over – but three operations later, I was back’

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Niall Kelly

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