Former Dublin captain Alan Brogan has given younger brother Bernard a fighting chance of featuring in their bid for four All-Ireland wins in a row, as unlikely as that seems.
Bernard, who turns 34 shortly, suffered cruciate knee ligament damage last month after twisting the knee during a shooting drill in a training session.
The former Footballer of the Year, who looked sharp when creating two goals against Kildare in the first round of the Allianz league, underwent surgery on Tuesday of last week.
The recovery period is normally eight to 10 months and Dublin colleague Jack McCaffrey is working to that schedule after suffering the same injury in last year’s All-Ireland final win.
But Brogan, according to his brother, is ready to put in the hard yards to return earlier than anticipated next August, just six months, when Dublin are expected to be on the verge of the four-in-a-row.
"He's looking at how quickly can you get back and I think he'll give it a lash to try and get back for probably August time, the six-month mark," said Alan, at the launch of the KN Group All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge which takes place at Concra Wood and Nuremore Golf Clubs in Monaghan on August 24th/25th.
“It’s still probably a big ask for a 34-year-old but I know with his work, he probably does have that flexibility that if he does have to devote a certain amount of time to it, he probably can.
“And I think that’s what he’ll aim for. He’ll try to get back for the end of the Championship. But for the moment, it’s kind of one day at a time.”
Johnny Magee, the former Dublin defender, said he avoided surgery after cruciate ligament damage by maintaining strong muscles around his knee and advised Brogan to consider doing the same.
Brogan opted against it on the basis that his attacking style involves lots of twists and sharp turns which place pressure on the joint.
He’ll instead invest his energies in defying normal protocols by returning quicker than expected.
“I think it is possible to get back in six months,” said Alan.
“He was telling me that Fergus McFadden got back in four-and-a-half months. I’m not sure he’ll beat that! But to feature this year, he’d need to get back by the six-month mark.”
It’s Alan’s belief that Bernard will push hard to retire on a high and is now more likely to play on into 2019 having previously been expected to retire after 2018.
“Yeah, it probably is more likely,” he said.