CORK and Na Piarsaigh star Christopher Joyce has suffered another cruciate ligament injury and he will be sidelined for a lengthy period.
The inter-county defender received the injury in a RedFM Senior Hurling League encounter against Bride Rovers in what was his first game back with club since his duties with Cork ended in the defeat by Kilkenny.
It’s the second time that he has suffered one of sports most serious injuries and it is in the other leg this time.
The recovery period for such an injury can extend up to nine months and longer and it’s another cruel blow to this wholehearted player.
Reacting today to the injury, Na Piarsaigh selector Bill Kelleher told the Echo that it was a huge personal blow for the 27-year-old player and for the club.
“We are gutted for him in the club. Obviously, first and foremost for himself and he’s a huge loss for us in our championship plans.
“You’d be shattered for him, especially as it’s the second time but we’ll be there for him in the recovery process."
Na Piarsaigh defeated Killeagh in the opening round of the championship and are out the weekend after next against the Barrs in a potentially cracking city derby.
“That’s correct, he’s going to be a huge loss in that game but the small consolation for us is that we knew in advance.
“We have had a bit of time to plan without Christopher so, hopefully, we can overcome his loss."
The senior hurling championship resumes this weekend with an East Cork derby encounter featuring Killeagh and Carrigtwohill at Midleton on Sunday night, 6pm, and the clash of Newcestown and Newtownshandrum in Páirc Uí Rinn, also on Sunday night, 7.30pm.
With a new streamlined championship structure coming in next season, clubs need to reach the quarter-finals to be assured of a slot in the senior tier for 2020 which adds an extra edge to all the backdoor clashes over the coming weeks.