Paul Geaney's experience with spinal injuries makes for terrifying reading

The Kerry forward hopes to be back playing by next month

BY Sinéad Farrell 16:49 Friday 26 February 2016, 16:49 26 Feb 2016

©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

He says the description of the injuries sound worse than the actual experience, but the question of whether or not Paul Geaney was in pain last year, is not even up for debate.

The deadly Kerry attacker had a cyst removed from his back last October which was closely followed by a surgical procedure to correct a ''broken vertebrae.''

And when you consider the minutiae of his injuries, it doesn't seem possible that he could be ready to return to the pitch inside the next month. But that's exactly what he plans to do, provided his rehab remains on course.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Geaney goes through the gruelling details of his problems.

"The last back surgery I had was for broken vertebrae; they put in a screw and it caused arthritis. That just (let) two cysts grow inside the spinal cord which was giving me leg pain all last year so I just had to get the cysts removed.

"It's not majorly a back problem. It's just the cysts were causing pain all down the sciatic nerves and that sort of thing."

Geaney tried to tease out the possible causes for his pain and thinking that supplements might be the aggitator, elliminating ''vitamins and stuff'' was his first move. And as the pain continued to persists, he decided to take a break from weight sessions and substituted it with core work.

But the solutions he came up with were bringing minimal relief.


"Nothing was working that way. I started doing core, and core wasn't helping out. It was sore when I was going to the toilet so I said 'this isn't right at all'.

"It affected my fitness in the end because I wasn't able to give everything in training sessions. I wasn't able to move freely.

"I figured out what it was. I got an injection and it numbed it for about a month. Then it started coming back a small bit before the All-Ireland. We had a county final against Dr Crokes the week after and I just had to stop after that because it was fully back."

The 25 year-old has enjoyed just one uninterrupted season with the Kerry team when Kerry shocked the GAA community with the unexpected capture of the Sam Maguire cup in 2014. 

Apart from that, Geaney has encountered many setbacks but he remains confident that he can regain his place in the team.

"You have to have that mindset, every guy is going to believe they are capable of making the team at their best so it is up to everyone to be at their best to get on the team, I wouldn't expect to be starting if I wasn't at my best because I know the quality is there."

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week