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‘I knew right away it was serious’ – Derry star Padraig McGrogan has season ended after ‘freak’ ACL injury


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McGrogan damaged his right knee in a training session on the Thursday after the newly-crowned league champions had surrendered their Ulster SFC title on the back of a crushing quarter-final loss to Donegal.

“It was the ACL so I won’t be taking part in much more now for this season. There’s no hiding it now, it was done a couple of weeks ago and it just is what it is,” the wing-back revealed, speaking at an Allianz launch ahead of Derry’s All-Ireland SFC group clash away to Galway on Saturday week.

“It was something I’ve done a million times before. I just went to turn inside, and I just knew right away that I’d done something.

“It can happen so easily. You never fear it, but I felt 100 per cent the whole way through training and it just happened suddenly, it was just a freak thing.

“I knew right away it was fairly serious. There was a bit of a crunch, and the pain let me know there was something not right anyway.”

The Newbridge clubman hopes to undergo knee surgery in early June; then it will be a case of “getting on with the rehab and getting it done as best as I can.”

McGrogan won’t be seen in a Derry jersey before 2025 but, in the meantime, he will remain firmly embedded in Mickey Harte’s camp.

“I think I would go mad otherwise,” he remarked. “You’re just used to being part of the group. I still very much see myself as part of the group, and I plan to be at nearly every session I can be at now.”

Reflecting on the shock nature of their Ulster exit – when three of the four goals conceded stemmed from goalkeeper Odhran Lynch contesting long Donegal kickouts only to be caught out of position – McGrogan suggested that there will be an inevitable tactical tweak.

“It’s been a couple of weeks so plenty of time to digest it. It’s just another game, only we lost that one. Watching back the video is painful, but you can see exactly why we lost the game,” he said.

“When we start to make these adjustments, we just have to hope we learn from what we got wrong and get better from it.”

Asked about those adjustments, McGrogan expanded: “Well, we’ll have to adjust some way because if it’s not working then you have to change it. Clearly the kickout tactic just didn’t go well for us that day.

“We were probably just over-aggressive and nearly silly in the end. We’ve analysed it and we still have to press the kickout, you can’t go the opposite direction and just give it up.

“But we’ve watched it back and we’re working on it, and we will be working on it for a long time like most teams now.”

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