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Cork Captain Played All-Ireland Final With A Nightmare Injury

Cork Captain Played All-Ireland Final With A Nightmare Injury
Sinead Farrell
By Sinead Farrell
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It's the injury dreaded by all and suffered by many. A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an injury which affects the knee and can often signal the end of a player's season for up to six months.

But cork captain Ciara O'Sullivan defied the odds in 2012 when she executed a miraculous six week recovery in time to play the All-Ireland final. It was her second time to tear her ACL after succumbing to it in the All-Ireland quarter-final two years earlier.

Speaking in Croke Park today ahead of this year's All-Ireland final, she said:

'I tore it at the worst possible time and it was looking like I wouldn't be able to play the final but we had a good physio and I worked hard for the month in between to get it right

Cork went on to win that final against Kerry and Ciara O'Sullivan played her part before being substituted towards the end. Most cruciate tears are associated with a popping sound and excruciating pain. These were the symptoms Ciara experienced in 2010 when she tore her cruciate just three minutes into their All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Tyrone.


But the 2012 experience was comparably different and the injury wasn't discovered until a few days after the game.

I didn't think I did it at all because the first time I had it, it was very painful. The second time, I just felt something small in my knee but I thought nothing more about it and played on for a bit before coming off. Even the next day I didn't think there was anything wrong

But an MRI scan confirmed the worst for O'Sullivan and the outlook was grim. She spent the first week in devastation but after indulging in some self-pity, O'Sullivan launched into her recovery programme and gradually regained her strength.

I did a few sessions in the gym and progressed from there to being able to move and eventually jog so I began to feel more positive. But there was definitely a bit of luck there as well

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You can get lucky when you tear the cruciate twice in that I didn't miss any championship the first time and the same the second time because I was able to play the final. I wad in the gym three times a week so I put a lot of work in

But the challenging times are not over for the resident half forward. This weekend, Cork will face Dublin in a repeat of last year's All-Ireland final to play for a record 10th All-Ireland title in 11 years.

They did the impossible last year to come back from 10 points down and win by one. But will luck be on their side this time?

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