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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 17 April 2021

The Richie Power-Kieran Donaghy link - 'Our roles were so similar, it was scary'

The Kilkenny and Kerry players enjoyed brilliant revivals at the end of the championship.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

RICHIE POWER HAS described the parallels between his Kilkenny hurling campaign and Kieran Donaghy’s Kerry football season as ‘scary’.

Power and Donaghy both endured injury-plagued summers before breaking back into their respective starting sides in time for September All-Ireland glory.

29 year-old Power came off the bench to notch Kilkenny’s vital second-half goal in the All-Ireland semi-final. A fortnight later Donaghy came on as a substitute to help resurrect Kerry’s campaign against Mayo.

In September Power bagged three goals over the course of Kilkenny’s two-game saga against Tipperary while it was Donaghy who netted at a crucial juncture in Kerry’s win over Donegal.

Power damaged his knee severely in June against Galway and faced an uphill battle to regain fitness. But he timed his return to perfection and made a seismic impact in the All-Ireland series.

“I remember I met Kieran in Croke Park in September and we were kind of discussing it,” says Power. “Our roles were so similar, it was scary. We were just lucky. I’d done an awful lot of pre-season training. The latter end of the league went well for me and then all of a sudden you’re hit with an injury. The specialist kind of told me that you’re looking at 12 to 14 weeks (out).

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“I just went back to the medical team inside with Kilkenny – Kevin and Tadhg – and said whatever I have to do, I’ll do. I’ll push it. I think I was back running a week and a half after I done it. I wasn’t supposed to but it was all worth it in the end.”

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Power’s knee still needs regular attention.

“It (the posterior ligament) is just gone, it won’t come back. There’s no operation you can get to rehab it. I’ve had quite bit of work down with that knee, three operations for cartilage and it’s after weakening it a good bit. So there’s a lot of rehab needed over the next few weeks.”

.  Dublin footballer, Alan Richie Power and Alan Brogan in Taillight at the launch of the GOAL Mile yesterday. Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

The Carrickshock club man admits that pushing his body to the limit does prompt concern if he will suffer after his career has ended.

“You have to be thinking about it long term. I went down to a specialist in Whitfield in Waterford in 2010 with my hip and I ended up getting a hip operation after it. His reckoning was if I didn’t get it done, I’d need a hip replacement before I’m 40.

“When you finish inter-county hurling you are going back to your everyday life, your job and you have to be the full of your health. I suppose you do these things to push your body to the limit when you are playing at the highest level. It’s all part of it.”

First published at 7.35, updated at 12.50.

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Fintan O'Toole

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