Hogan fit and ready to face Tipperary
GAVIN CUMMISKEYtalks to Kilkenny’s towering centre back about his injury battle and the team’s determination to learn from the defeat to Galway
BRIAN HOGAN has declared himself fit to start for Kilkenny in Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final against Tipperary.
The powerful centre back burst a blood vessel in his leg playing for his club O’Loughlin Gaels last month and missed the quarter-final victory over Limerick.
Hogan returned to training last week.
“It bled out,” he explained. “I thought it was a dead leg, turned out it was a lot more serious. I woke up the following morning and it was the size of my quad.
“I just remember the leg getting sore with about 10 minutes to go. Thought it was a standard dead leg. Iced it, woke up the following morning and was in serious trouble. Went into the medics and it was a judgement call, they could open the leg but then you’re gone for the year.
“A specialist looked at it and you could be talking skin grafts and this kind of thing or you could just basically try and ride out the pain and hopefully there’s no, you know, you can get compartment , there’s loads of stuff that can potentially go with it.
“It’s fine, it’s settled down.”
The 31-year-old is a valuable addition to Brian Cody’s starting line-up, to be named Friday, especially considering the loss of the suspended Richie Hogan for a match-up that has contested the last three All-Ireland finals.
The younger Hogan, 24, received a straight red card for striking Limerick’s Seán Tobin on July 29th. TJ Reid is expected to be a direct replacement in the forwards with Kieran Joyce to make way as Brian Hogan returns at number six.
“It’s a fairly ruthless kind of old environment,” said Hogan about being injured.
“As I found out, when you’re injured, it’s ‘good luck’. With the best will in the world, like, back in 2010 when I missed the All-Ireland final the lads had a job to do, getting ready for an All-Ireland. You don’t expect them coming up patting you on the back going, ‘Are you all right?’ They have their own jobs to do getting ready for the All-Ireland. Your job is just to stay out of the way.”
Hogan was asked yesterday about Cody’s decision to shut the gates of Nowlan Park for Kilkenny training sessions since the heavy defeat to Galway in the Leinster final. Turns out the players had grown frustrated with the “circus” atmosphere in the main stand when they were trying to work.