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Paul’s Diary: Injury, Rehab And Comeback

Paul’s Diary: Injury, Rehab And Comeback

Paul O’Connell is already back in the gym rehabbing from the knee injury that has ruled him out of the rest of the RBS 6 Nations Championship. Paul brings us up to date with his week so far.

Frustrating would be one word for it. Injuries are part and parcel of sport but any philosophical attitude tends to disappear, initially at least, when it happens to you.

I thought I was in good form and had been really enjoying the Ireland camp – it was good fun and there was good camaraderie. We were building nicely in terms of performance in the Six Nations and to go from that to my current situation is disappointing.

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I remember exactly when it happened in the match. It was the 61st minute and Thierry Dusautoir tackled me side on and the knee buckled.

I hobbled around for a bit but the adrenaline kicked in and I was able to play on without too much discomfort. At soon as the match finished though I knew I was in a bit of trouble.

We flew back that night and I went straight to Santry for a scan. The specialist would subsequently confirm the initial diagnosis of the radiographer.

After the game there were some sore bodies and frustration that we hadn’t managed to close out the match and win.

The general view was that it had been an opportunity lost but the lads have already put it behind them and are looking forward to the weekend.

I spent some time in camp but came away because I needed to let the lads get on with it. They need time to concentrate on the tasks in hand and don’t need me there. I had offered my views on various things but it was time to let them get on with it.

I started my rehab on Wednesday evening with the Munster physio Dave O’Sullivan. Earlier that day I was back in the gym doing upper body weights in the company of Alan Quinlan and Mike Prendergast. It was entertaining and a welcome distraction.

When you damage the medial ligaments in your knee you have to wear a brace that helps, not so much to immobilise the joint but to restrict the movement. It clicks when I walk and I have already got some funny looks walking past people.

The prognosis is four to six weeks with the Ulster match in the Heineken Cup falling in the middle of that, but I would be very hopeful to be back in time for that game.

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