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How have cruciate injuries become so common in the GAA?

The lads discuss the recent rise in cruciate injuries on the back of Michael Duignan’s thought-provoking comments

The thoughts of Michael Duignan certainly provoked plenty of interest earlier this week when the Offaly legend discussed the recent spate of cruciate knee ligament injuries within the GAA.

The Offaly GAA chairperson, speaking at a recent Faithful County Board meeting, spoke of his worries about the serious knee injury reaching crisis point in the GAA.

His views came after Johnny Kelly’s Offaly hurlers lost Oisín Kelly, Christy Ring Cup Hurler of the Year in 2021, to a second cruciate in as many years while there have also been several long-term injuries to the 2021 All-Ireland U-20 FC winners.

Kieran Dolan, Keith O’Neill and Cathal Donoghue (cruciate) have suffered long-term injuries in recent seasons while rising stars like Cormac Egan and John Furlong have also had limited game time since that famous win in August of 2021.

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Along with Kelly, Ross Ravenhill’s absence due to a broken ankle suffered against Kildare last Sunday is another sucker punch to Offaly’s hopes of gaining promotion to Division 1, as well as success in the Joe McDonagh Cup.

Duignan feels that such injuries may be as a result of a busy schedule of games and training.

“It is non-stop. Maybe other counties have bigger panels but it is absolutely devastating our panels. It is something we need to look at and maybe at a national scale,” Duignan said.

“Why are so many people getting injured, especially cruciates? It seems to be out of control with GAA players. Whether it is to do with the training load or what is being expected of amateur players, I don’t know. I am not an expert on that.”

In reference to the two-time All-Ireland SHC winner’s own playing career, he quipped: “Maybe we didn’t run fast enough back in our day but there wasn’t that level of cruciates, in particular, and it seems to be every day of the week now. I see David Burke from Galway as well yesterday.”

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Duignan also announced that Offaly will be appointing a Head of Performance this year to help monitor players and assess strength and conditioning from a younger age and the rise in injuries was a big talking point on this week’s OurGame show.

Shane and Michael discussed the type of footwear worn by GAA players, the effects of changing from different types of surfaces and the volume of training being undertaken in a lively debate.

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