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'My heart went out to him' - Setback for Tipperary as Maher suffers season-ending Achilles injury

Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher suffered the injury in training on Thursday night.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Updated May 22nd 2021, 3:59 PM

TIPPERARY BOSS LIAM Sheedy has hailed the reaction of Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher to his latest major injury setback after the experienced forward suffered a serious Achilles tendon injury.

The Lorrha-Dorrha club man sustained the injury in training on Thursday night and is now set to miss the rest of the 2021 inter-county season.

It’s another case of bad luck for the three-time All-Ireland winner after he tore his cruciate in June 2019 in the Munster championship against Limerick in Thurles.

Maher will undergo surgery next Wednesday to repair the damage and while there may be a chance of club action in 2021, Sheedy admitted his inter-county season is over.

“He’s just a warrior, I think he’s such a loss to the championship, such a loss to the year,” remarked the Tipperary boss after their win over Galway today.

“What he’s gone through, the way he brought himself back. He’s the fittest man on my panel. The way he applied himself since last January is just incredible.

“It’s tough on me, it’s tough on the lads, who probably felt they were representing him today. He’s at home watching that.

“He has dictated how we want the Tipperary attitude and Tipperary spirit to be for the last 13 years. Seeing the way he reacted, how unselfish he was – he just said, ‘there are people in worse situations than I’m in’. To see the way he was on that table the other night, my heart went out to him.

“He’s having surgery on Wednesday and it’s three or four months (recovery). I hope he can get back to a Lorrha jersey later in the year but if there’s one man who can come back it’s Bonner Maher, he’s incredible.

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“You’ve all seen him often enough. He’s an awful loss to the game. It’s a tough pill to swallow for us because he’s a really integral part of our set up.”

Maher burst to the fore in 2010 when he won All-Ireland senior and U21 medals, establishing himself as a member of the Tipperary half-forward line before tasting further Liam MacCarthy Cup success in 2016 and 2019. He won All-Star awards in 2014 and 2016.

The 31-year-old returned from the cruciate setback to feature in the 2020 championship while this season he started in the league opener against Limerick before coming on as a substitute against Cork last Saturday night.

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Fintan O'Toole

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