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TJ Reid: 'I'm As Fit And Strong Now As I Was Back At 24'

Kilkenny’s T.J. Reid is pictured in Croke Park to celebrate that Littlewoods Ireland has rebranded to Very. As part of this rebrand customers can now shop over 1800 brands on Very.ie. To find out more about Very, visit Very.ie and follow the conversation on social with #HelloVery, on Instagram (@very.ireland) and Twitter (@very_ireland). Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

For the opening rounds of this year's Leinster Hurling Championship, TJ Reid didn't quite look himself. That was understandable. He'd missed the entire National League due to a combination of club commitments with Ballyhale, and injury.

"The first few games, I wasn't match fit," said Reid at the announcement Littlewoods Ireland is rebranding to Very.

"Then we got to the Leinster final, All-Ireland semi-final, and All-Ireland final, and I was match fit for those three games."

Reid's injury troubles began when he tore a groin muscle during last November's Kilkenny county final victory over O'Loughlin Gaels.

"We were involved in Leinster then, and I played all those games with a torn groin which wasn't the smartest move," Reid explained.

"Along that spell then, I picked up osteitis pubis, which is when your pubic bone gets inflamed. So I had two injuries then.

"I got the scan over Christmas then and went to a specialist and I was basically told that for me to play in that All-Ireland semi-final against St Thomas', that I'd have to stop for six weeks, not to train before it.

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"So I only trained twice on the field before the St Thomas' game. I was just doing striking drills and jogging at that. Played that game, then couldn't train properly before the All-Ireland final, just trained twice. I managed it okay, got to the final, played it, performed well, and then I was booked in to get an injection into my pubic bone to reduce the inflammation.

23 January 2022; TJ Reid of Ballyhale Shamrocks celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the AIB GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Semi-Final match between St Thomas, Galway and Ballyhale Shamrocks, Kilkenny at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

"So then I'd to take six - eight weeks of rehab then so a complete rest. Lucky enough, I was away on my honeymoon for three weeks, so in hindsight, it was okay. Then I had to go from zero to 100 over the next seven weeks before the county season to get ready for that.

"I have a health and fitness club, so I replicated what I was doing on the field as much as I could in the gym. I couldn't run so there were bike sessions, assault bike sessions, plenty of rehab, and that kept the cardiovascular system going.

"For me, the appetite was a big thing as well. I hadn't hurled in so long before some of those games. I was hungry to hurl, in one way. And knowing that I had done everything I could do to get on the field helped as well. There were plenty of painkillers and anti inflammatories taken too and they helped.

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"Once I went out onto the field then, I knew I could perform because I had all that conditioning work done. I had great advice as well, from the specialists I saw, the physios, Mickey Comerford, the Kilkenny S&C coach.

"It is a lot easier when you have these people around you making sure that you are doing the right thing. They designed a plan that allowed me to perform on the day. And look, it went well, I performed well even though I was half-injured. After the club final, it was 12 weeks of rehab and the lads did a great job getting me ready, really and at peak fitness."

This was Reid's 16th season as a Kilkenny senior hurler. There are plenty of miles on the clock, but he's a well-maintained machine.

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"Ah, look, it's a long year until next year!" he said on Thursday, prior to the announcement of his former county teammate Derek Lyng as the new Kilkenny manager.

"You can't predict what's going to happen. Six months is a long time in hurling. I have club championship to get myself ready for.

"I told the boys that I'll go for as long as I can. Once the body is able to take you there, and you're injury free - touch wood... I'm as fit and strong now as I was back at 24. I'm 34 now heading into 35. I have great confidence in my fitness. That's a huge help."

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See Also: TJ Reid Had To Double-Check Brian Cody WhatsApp To Make Sure It Was Real

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