Cian Lynch on returning from injuries, representing Patrickswell and “unreal feeling” of lifting Liam MacCarthy

The star spoke about his troubles with injuries over the past twelve months and the special chance to be captain on All-Ireland final day.

Cian Lynch ended the 2023 championship on a high, captaining his county to All-Ireland victory over Kilkenny, but it was not plain sailing for the Patrickswell man this year, who has had to deal with a couple of injury setbacks.

Lynch recently picked up the Hurler of the Month award for his performances in July, recognition for his terrific Croke Park performances, which seem even more remarkable given his injury woes.

The Patrickswell native suffered a hamstring injury against Waterford in the 2022 Munster round-robin championship that kept him out for the remainder of the province.

He returned in the semi-final win over Galway last year, only to suffer an ankle injury in training ahead of the All-Ireland final.

Having come back to fitness ahead of the 2023 campaign, Lynch strained the same hamstring in the round-robin meeting with Clare this year, an injury which kept him out of the Munster final clash with the Banner.

The four week break that followed the Munster victory allowed Lynch an opportunity to regain fitness, and he returned to captain his side to All-Ireland glory.

Receiving his PwC/GPA Hurler of the month award, Lynch discussed his difficulties with injuries over the past twelve months and the opportunity to captain Limerick on All-Ireland final day.

“With Declan missing out due to injury, my main focus is the game, trying to get through the game, winning the game is the key focus. To be able to pull Dec up there with me is just unreal. It’s all about those little memories.”

“I was always very lucky growing up I was injury free. Anyone that has experienced injury, there’s a lot of work behind the scenes trying to get yourself right. Sport is huge, it’s a huge release, when you don’t have that you realise.”

10 August 2023; PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Month for July in hurling, Cian Lynch of Limerick, with his award at PwC offices in Limerick. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

With the club championship firmly underway, Lynch has been in action for his club, Patrickswell, the club he captain to the championship title in 2019 at just 23.

Having helped his local side to a win over the defending champions Na Piarsaigh, the Well fell to Doon Thursday night in round two of the SHC such is the competitive nature of hurling in Limerick.

However, they are still expected to make it out of their group, and Lynch says he is “delighted to be able to wear the Patrickswell jersey again,” with injury keeping him out last year.

“Injuries are frustrating, trying to accept that part of it. No one wants to experience it. It’s just trying to keep yourself focused. I was absolutely grateful that I was able to tog out for Patrickswell, I hadn’t played for them since 2021, so just delighted to be able to wear the Patrickswell jersey again.”

24 July 2023; Cian Lynch with the Liam MacCarthy Cup during the homecoming celebrations of the Limerick All-Ireland Senior Hurling Champions at Pery Square in Limerick. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

It was yet another special year for Limerick hurling in 2023, as they won their fourth successive Liam MacCarthy cup, but Lynch isn’t letting the success get to his head, describing the wins as “moments you’ll remember.”

He claims “it’s about a bit of luck on the day,” and that he and his teammates are “blessed” with how things are going.

“Every year takes a life of it’s own. Coming back to Limerick, seeing your family and friends, they’re moments you’ll remember.”

“There’s nothing between the teams, everyone is on a level par, it’s just about a bit of luck on the day.”

“Everyone that plays GAA, it’s every child’s dream to play in Croke Park. We’re just blessed that things went our way in those games.”

With the club championship now taking centre stage, Lynch will hope to go as far as possible with Patrickswell, before having a well-earned rest ahead of returning to the inter-county scene.

Limerick will hope to create even more history next year, as they bid to win five All-Ireland titles in-a-row but for now it will be about ending a three year wait for the ‘Well.

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