For a year

Published 07/01/2014 | 05:42

Shocking as it is, the case of Jack Hobbs is not uncommon.

A number of young Wexford players have had long-standing issues with injuries, ultimately forcing them to go under the knife.

St. Anne's clubman, Liam Og McGovern, just out of under-age hurling and one of the most promising forwards in the county in both codes, underwent surgery on both hips early last year which saw him only have a 'bit part' role for his club in the latter end of the season.

His summer was put on hold, and the only consolation to both his club and county was the fact that he began to make it back to the playing pitches towards the end of the club championship, but still not without some problems relating back to his surgery.

Clongeen player Emmet Kent was beginning to build a high profile in both hurling and football for his club, county and college when hip problems brought a sudden halt to his progression.

The resourceful performer made quite an impact with the Wexford Under-21 hurlers and was being earmarked for a fast tracking to the county Senior hurling squad when he was forced to look long and hard at the hip problems that were beginning to threaten his career.

Last year he underwent surgery on both hips which was a huge blow to his club as they targeted a possible quick return to Senior football ranks. He has gamely battled through the rehab and looks likely to make a return to the playing pitches of the county in early summer.

Tomás Waters had put two hip operations behind him to bounce back on the inter-county scene, with a string of outstanding displays in his new-found role of full-back that saw him receive an All Star nomination.

While that proved a high point of the year, his season ended in disaster in the All-Ireland qualifier against Clare when he tripped up in a race for the ball minutes from the end of normal time, leaving him prone on the ground in some agony.

As has been well documented, Waters required a cruciate knee ligament operation, along with removal of cartilage and surgery on his chipped knee bone. In the intervening months he went through the pain barrier, with a series of infections leaving him hospital-bound for almost 50 days. While he is now in recovery mode, it will be a surprise to see him back on the playing fields this season.

Diarmuid Devereux said the County Board has a duty of care to their young players.

'I can introduce you to young players who have double hip operations. I have heard Dr. Pat O'Neill talk about this and what he said actually frightened me. At that stage it was something the orthopaedics were warning us about but now we are seeing it for ourselves.'

Wexford People

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