Damien Comer Out Of Connacht Final But Hopeful Of Paul Conroy Return

damien comer

Damien Comer has confirmed that he is unlikely to be fit to play in next month’s Connacht final when Galway defend their crown against Roscommon for the fourth year running. 

The Galway captain underwent surgery following an ankle fracture he sustained in a charity soccer game over Christmas and while the Annaghdown man isn’t ruling anything out, he admits at this stage it’s hard to see himself “turning a corner”.

“At the moment, yes (I’ll miss it),” said Comer.

“I can’t see myself turning a corner in that space of time, but I won’t rule anything out. I’d love to get back for it but it will be tight.”

Comer admitted that he hasn’t put a time-frame on his return and is using his pain-threshold as a gauge on whether he’s making progress or not.

“I don’t really know to be honest (when I’ll be back). I’m back doing a bit of running, straight-line running. I haven’t really put a time-frame on it.

“I’m kind of going by pain-threshold. If it’s too sore I take a step back and if it’s okay I’ll push it on a small bit. That’s my gauge. How long it’s going to take, I genuinely don’t know. Kevin (Walsh) is asking the same question and I can’t really answer it.

“I’m just playing it by ear, taking it week by week and see. Hopefully, then you turn a corner and next thing you’re back in the thick of things.”

Comer’s road to recovery was delayed after the initial scan failed to show any fracture. He had hoped to return during Galway’s league campaign but after seeing no signs of improvement a second scan was called for which revealed the full extent of the issue.

The bustling full-forward admits it’s been a frustrating few months, especially having to wait to get surgery, however, he is trying to remain positive.

“Initially, it was obviously very frustrating and then you’re kind of getting back and you think you’re back. Then it wasn’t improving. I got a scan again and then you find out it’s a fracture and that’s frustrating.

“And then you’re like, ‘Right, go into a boot.’ And then you meet the consultant and the next thing its surgery and that’s the last thing you wanted. That’s really frustrating.”

“There was the wait to get the surgery done and you’re waiting a week, two weeks, three weeks. All you’re thinking is that this is three weeks is eating into when I’ll be back.

“I went into the surgeon and said, ‘Look it, I’m ready to go, if you give me a date tomorrow I’ll work with that’. Once I had the surgery I knew it was done and I had a time-frame. Six weeks in a boot, six weeks after the boot hopefully back running.

“I’m just trying to keep as positive as you can, but it’s hard when the lads are training away and you have to focus on your own rehab.”

While Comer’s chances of making the Connacht final looks slim, there is some good news for Galway fans as Paul Conroy has returned to training with the Tribesmen.

It was reported earlier this week that the midfielder had returned to club action and Comer, who teaches alongside him, revealed that he is back training with the squad.

Comer admitted to being in “constant contact” with Conroy throughout his rehabilitation and that his return provides the positive outlook that the Galway captain needs right now.

“It gives you encouragement,” Comer said.

“There’d be a few days were he was peed off and he was like ‘I don’t know the surgeon was saying I should be back in contact by now and I’m barely back running’.

“He was getting annoyed with it but then the next thing he started progressing nicely, then threw himself into a few drills and then all of a sudden he turned a corner and found he wasn’t going that quickly.

In attendance at SuperValu GAA Sponsorship Launch 2019 at D-Light Studios in Dublin are, from left, Valerie Mulcahy of Cork, Damien Comer of Galway, Bernard Brogan of Dublin, Andy Moran of Mayo and Doireann O’Sullivan of Cork, with the Sam Maguire Cup. SuperValu today launched their 10th year as sponsor of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

“His pace started coming back and now he’s back near full pace again so he just turned a corner. Looking at that I thought maybe that’s me where I wouldn’t be going full pace, I wouldn’t be able to go full pace at the moment, but I suppose your body just reacts and you strengthen up all parts.

“I would have been off my feet for a good while not loading up so it’s reacting well so far but seeing him do that and getting through it, and Paul would have had similar operations to me.

“It’s painful at the time but you build up a tolerance and it gets easier as you go on. It gives you a positive outlook and that’s important.”

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