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Ryan Byrne/INPHO It's been a long road back for O'Dwyer.
# Comeback
Ryan O'Dwyer back training with Dublin after recovery from serious nightclub assault
‘He’s back being Ryan O’Dwyer,’ says Ger Cunningham.

DUBLIN HURLING BOSS Ger Cunningham has confirmed Ryan O’Dwyer is back in his plans for the Championship summer as the forward continues his comeback.

O’Dwyer has been out of action since October after he was the victim of a serious assault outside a nightclub in Birmingham.

The Kilmacud Crokes man was hospitalised with a broken jaw, fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

But after featuring for his club as a substitute last weekend, O’Dwyer has since returned to full-contact training with the Dubs.

“Ryan has got the all-clear and he’s been back doing  some non-contact hurling for the last two or three weeks, and got the all-clear to go back fully – so he did his first session last night with us,” Cunningham said at Croke Park yesterday.

“I think he played ten minutes for Crokes in a league match last Saturday, but he was back in fully last night [Tuesday]. And back being Ryan O’Dwyer!”

“He gives us that physical presence that we need –  it was great to see him back last night. He was in flying form.”

O’Dwyer, who’s been lining out for the Dubs since 2011 having previously represented his native Tipperary, was knocked unconscious after the attack and has since admitted he considered calling time on his career.

“Obviously something like that, the serious injury that he got, I think he took a bit of time out to assess how serious it was,” Cunningham continued.

“But I think what came through to us was Ryan’s passion, his real passion for hurling, and he really wanted to get back.

“I think once he made up his mind to do it – he had to be patient, because the medical people were telling him he  had to  take a bit of time and it would be towards April/May before he would be back. But it’s a great boost to us now that he’s back in now, and he’ll be playing club championship next week.

“But his passion – at the end of the day, he just wants to play hurling.”

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Ger Cunningham was speaking at the announcement of Bord Gáis Energy’s sponsorship renewal of the GAA Hurling U21 All-Ireland Championship for a further five years.

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