Corbett confirms he will be missing for up to six weeks with cracked ribs
“I actually don’t know who it was when I was on the ground and after when I got up the ribs were just sore.”
Kilkenny’s JJ Delaney and Lar Corbett of Tipperary during the Division One final at Nowlan Park on Sunday. They were involved in an off the ball scuffle resulting in their dismissals . Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
The 2010 hurler of the year slips quietly into the room with that disarming smirk of his and sits among us. We start with an easy one for Mr Corbett.
How’s the body, Lar? “The finest.”
Prognosis? “Fractured rib.”
Just the one? “It could be two.”
Six week job? “Six weeks, yeah, that’s what they are saying.”
He sounds like a hostile witness. He isn’t. He’s as unique as they come. Different doesn’t cover Larry Corbett. Neither does odd. Engaging is a start. Richard Prior comic timing.
Problems and rumours shadow his every turn.
If Tipperary are to make another Munster hurling final, they must beat Limerick at their very own Gaelic Grounds in five weeks time.
So, no Corbett?
“That is what they are saying. That it is four to six weeks but I am not ruling out anything.”
Then there is that looming one match ban and potential appeal process.
“It’s going to be up to the Tipperary county board and whatever their decision is there. My job is if I am picked, whenever that is next, is to perform and whatever happens off the field they look after that.”
Corbett was sent off, along with Kilkenny JJ Delaney, during last Sunday’s league final. During that melee, he suffered two cracked ribs.
“It just happened at their end during the confrontation in the game.”
Omertá was the order of the day at yesterday announcement that Liberty Insurance have become title sponsors of hurling and camogie.
He refused to point the finger at Delaney or any other Kilkenny forward.
“I actually don’t know who it was. (It was) when I was on the ground and after when I got up the ribs were just sore.”
After all these years following, or being followed, around fields by Tommy Walsh, Jackie Tyrell or JJ Delaney, does he get on with the Kilkenny hurlers?
“Yeah. We don’t meet each other much but it’s on the trips there, that ye all go on every year. We get to go every now and again. It’s grand like.
“You know them trips ye go on?”
He means the All Star tour.
“We have to forget about it, lads. Focus on Limerick in five weeks time.”
The problem is nobody can move on. Not while the referee Barry Kelly’s report is pending. It makes Limerick on June 9th out of Corbett’s reach. Because of the incident. Because of the ribs.
Switching to hurling matters, the focus comes down on Corbett’s fellow forwards failing to fire in Nowlan Park. Four of them were replaced by manager Eamon O’Shea, a fifth was red carded.
“You have to put it down to Kilkenny’s performance. They performed very well and when you take on Kilkenny you are not going to get anything handy in Nowlan Park and I suppose it looked like maybe they were getting their scores a bit handier in the second half.”
But he is happy with O’Shea’s return to Tipperary hurling.
“I don’t think there are too many people in life that can get you up and give you confidence like Eamon. He just gives all the time so it is our job to try and give back as much as he gives us.”
We go to a place beyond the hurling. Because that’s where Corbett tales always tends to go.
A full week before the All-Ireland club hurling semi-final between Offaly’s Kilcormac-Killoughey and his own Thurles Sarsfields, he returned from a GPA mission to the Irish community of Breezy Point in New York, who were hit severely by Hurricane Sandy.
“People thought I was in America, jumped off the plane in a parachute and landed inside in Portlaoise. I was back a full week before. You could have been to Australia and back and won the match no problem.”
The problem is they lost.
“I don’t read into that that’s why we lost, because I was in America a week before. If that’s how they are working out how we lost there is no point in getting into that argument. You are not going to win that one anyway.”
Took a shot
Even the great Jimmy Doyle, a fellow Sars man, took a public shot at him. Now, here’s the beauty of Corbett.
“Yeah, well, if that’s what he’s into. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’d actually enjoy looking at it. It’s grand, it’s perfect. There is no point in having an opinion on it, it doesn’t mean anything day to day, you know?
“If in the pub at home, if there is something (wrong) there is a problem because that is day to day. It’s life, it’s business. It is like that. That’s a problem if I can’t get that right. All the other things I don’t think about them.”
So the lotto rumour wasn’t true then?
“That would’ve been great. Of all of them, that’s the one I wanted to be true. I double checked it.”