Man of Aran Sean Mulkerin is heading to the latest challenge as he recovers from his ‘shattered’ knee

Sean Mulkerin has been used to facing challenges during his football life. When you grew up on an island off the west coast of Ireland, pursuing an elite Gaelic football career isn’t easy, given the logistics involved.

alway is not a small county so getting to its various points at different times of the year has been a bit more difficult than its starting point at Inis Mor.

When he fell in a pile during a NUIG Sigerson Cup game against UUJ in January, taking a knee in the process added to the challenges. It’s one thing to tear a cruciate ligament, but a kneecap involves prolonged rehabilitation and prolonged immobilization, even in the early stages.

The launch is for a return after nine to 10 months. This clearly puts this year’s inter-county season out of reach and much, if not all, of the club season as well. But in recent weeks he’s been doing some light jogging and attending around Galway training, handing out water, lifting cones, getting involved in whatever happens.

“I stayed away from training for the first month or two because I wanted to go independent and not rely on lifts,” Mulkerin said.

“Since I’m able to get back to driving, I’m leaving for training. I also live with one or two boys, so going with them and getting a physio and cones or bottles or whatever the case may be, helps a lot.” It’s been a good time for me to get a physio, check in with them, and then get freaked out with the boys before and after training.”

The knee cap, in its own term “scattered,” was bone-to-bone or patella to use as the patella and became worse. “I was kind of planted and he (his opponent) just came up to speed and hit the sweet spot or the bullseye.

“It fell apart so it was no longer pleasant,” he recalled.

The game was abandoned, NUIG leading and awarded points, while Mulkerin was in agony as an ambulance took too long to reach the Whitehall venue where the game was played. Such was the pain, he says, that he had no concept of the time involved.

For six to eight weeks, her leg was in a brace and a teaching placement had to be pushed back until after Easter. Mulkerin had been on the team since the arrival of Pedric Joyce and was bedridden at the full-back line. If there is a positive it is that it is not considered a recurrent injury, he says.

Based at the mainland during college terms, he is back at Inis More for the summer. So it’s a ferry to Rossville or Aer Aran flight to Inverrin, another 40 minutes to Galway City and another 15 minutes to Galway GAA’s training base in Claregalway. But it is a journey that he has become well accustomed to in pursuit of his football career.

“It was more challenging to be younger because I was trying to get a living certificate and play minor football, coming in and out, trying not to miss any classes, so getting back on the plane early in the morning was a lot. That was good. You’re only missing 10 or 15 minutes of first class. In senior inter-county terms when you’re on the mainland, you’re studying and you’re closer to training and it’s as challenging Not as if you were in Ennis More full time.

For some reason, Covid made a greater impact on Galway than other county teams and Mulkerin does not dispute this.

“Maybe not get as much time as we would have liked to work on different scenarios,” he reflected. “If you go back pre-Covid, we were doing very well in the league. I think we only got one defeat from Kerry, one point in the trolley. It has been great to have a real proper pre-season to work on various aspects and systems and structures that the management wants to implement. ,