Cathal Noonan/INPHO The 30-year-old suffered the injury against Galway earlier this month.
Long road back

'I looked down and Aidan O’Shea pushed my head back and said, 'Tom don’t look at it''

Mayo’s Tom Parsons is facing a lengthy period on the sidelines after a horror knee injury.

MAYO FOOTBALLER TOM Parsons has thanked the county’s supporters and the wider public for the ‘overwhelming and magical’ support he has received in the aftermath of a horrific knee injury which will keep him out of action for some time.

Parsons suffered the horror injury during Mayo’s Connacht senior football championship defeat to Galway earlier this month, and has undergone the first of two operations in a bid to repair the damage.

The 30-year-old dislocated his knee in the unfortunate incident during the second half at MacHale Park, and the complexity of the injury means he’ll have to go under the knife again later in the summer.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Off the Ball this evening, Parsons admitted it has been a tough couple of weeks as he begins a long rehabilitation programme.

“I’m good at the moment but it’s been a tough two weeks. I’ve ruptured three of the four ligaments and I’ve torn the fourth. There’s tears to the calf and hamstring as well and my knee is fully dislocated. You never think it’ll be you,” he said.

“It was just another tackle. I just remember my leg being in trouble and trying to get that leg out. I looked down and within seconds Aidan O’Shea had his paw on my forehead and pushed my head back and said, ‘Tom don’t look at it’. Then I saw him waving at the medical team. I have such a good medical team around me. If you see panic in people’s eyes that will just make things a whole lot worse.

“The pain was something that I just can’t get my head around. Now I understand what 10 is, this was just excruciating. The pain was short term, it was temporary. I’ve looked at the pictures, I haven’t looked at the video and I’m not going to. I just need to get my head around what happened and understand it and that’s why I looked at the picture.”

Andy Moran Tommy Dickson / INPHO Parsons faces a lengthy period on the sidelines. Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

It was a tough blow for Parsons after he had worked his way into Stephen Rochford’s plans at inter-county level over the last few years, and was one of Mayo’s best performers in their defeat to Galway before his summer was cruelly cut short.

He added: “The support I received was magical and I really am thankful to everyone. When I am low and I need some inspiration I know I’m going to go back to these messages.

“It has been overwhelming and I will hold it close to my heart and it’s given me great encouragement. It is an opportunity to spend more time with family. I’ll give it everything in my power to come back and play football with my club and Mayo. That goal to just walk, that goal to just jog, once I can walk, I’ll jog, once I can jog I’ll run.”

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