David Collins has been forced to retire from club hurling due to injury. The former Galway captain recently had surgery on a troublesome ankle.
"The prognosis is terminal! That's it, good luck, lights out. No more," Collins told Galway Bay FM's Over The Line show.
"It stems back to the injury that I had in 2007, 2008. I continued to play hurling, as every young lad would.
"It was a sad day. I have a lot of hurling done. I have three beautiful small kids at home, and a wife who's minding four children, including me! If this didn't happen, I don't think I'd ever retire.
"[Professor Stephen Kearns in the Bons Secours] took marrow from my hip and put it into my ankle. It's impressive stuff.
"The first thing I asked was, 'What's the success rate?' It's about 95 per cent. I was happy enough with that. He's done a few of them, which reassured me. I wasn't a guinea pig.
"It had to be done. I didn't even know you could do it until he said it to me. The hip was sorer than the ankle for the first week. I was crippled in pain."
Collins retired from inter-county hurling with Galway in 2016, a year before the county won its first All-Ireland hurling title since 1988. The frustration of missing out on that Liam MacCarthy victory was alleviated by helping Liam Mellows, in 2017, win their first Galway senior title since 1970.
The 38-year-old said the realisation that his club career is over only struck him earlier this month during a championship game between Mellows and Padraig Pearses.
'I have a lot of hurling done'
"The last day there that they played Pearses, it was the first day that it hit me," he said.
"I was like, 'Oh, I'm not even part of the squad!' because I'm at home listening on Galway Bay FM.
"I've enjoyed every minute of it. Once I can get back on my feet, and actually go to the games, that's when it will really sink in that I'm not able to do it any more.
"You nearly are there because of your history and experience. The club needs to rejuvenate now, and bring in younger players.
"To be fair, we have a lot of young players. I've looked at Mark Hughes for the last number of years with Mellows, and he's really stepped up. There are a few more coming through, the likes of Ronan Elwood.
"I've had my time. The problem was that my head was still sharp but my body wasn't able to keep up. That was a major issue.
"The last couple of months, I haven't been able to do the rehab. I haven't been able to do the pre-season training that I used to do. This is why the injury flared up. I just wasn't able to it.
"I can look back with massive fond memories. I made great friends, enemies!"