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'Better Than Any All-Ireland' - Richie Power's Hurling Career Is Back From The Dead

'Better Than Any All-Ireland' - Richie Power's Hurling Career Is Back From The Dead
By PJ Browne Updated

Lazarus may have risen from the dead but you'd have to doubt if he would have come back from what Richie Power has been through.

In January, at the age of just 30, Power retired from inter-county hurling. He did so on the advice of doctors. The previous year he had three surgeries on his left knee. In total that knee went under the knife six times - the first occasion was as a 16-year-old. The knee was now fleeced of cartilage - it was just bone grinding on bone.

Doctors told Power that if he continued training at the top level then more than likely the knee would break and he'd be facing a knee replacement in  his early 30s. Retirement was the right choice.

After 11 years on the inter-county scene, a chance to play regularly with his club Carrickshock was going to be the nightcap of his hurling career. The wear and tear over the years meant that was now in danger. Power said it would be a major disappointment if he had walk away from both Kilkenny and Carrickshock at the same time.

After his final surgery in October 2015, Power walked with a limp. He told Off The Ball in January that he'd probably have to relearn how to walk.

He also had serious concerns about his ability to ever run again.

The likelihood is I'll never run again and that's hard to take. I'm kind of clutching at straws to get back to the club.

All that is what makes Sunday's Kilkenny Intermediate Hurling Championship final between Carrickshock and Tullogher-Rosbercon remarkable.

Richie Power club hurling comeback

Power had been working hard in the gym to rehabilitate the knee. That graft has paid off.

He came off the bench and played the second half of the game as his side won the match. It was not his first game back for Carrickshock. He entered the fray as a substitute in the semi-final against Tommy Walsh's Tullaroan a fortnight ago, scoring a point.

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After Sunday's game, Power posed for a picture, adding that the win was better than any of his eight All-Irelands.

His hurling career had not only come back from the dead but he'd also helped, along with his brothers Jamie and John, take Carrickshock back to senior hurling in Kilkenny.

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

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