KILDARE midfielder Dermot Earley has been forced to retire from inter-county football due to injury.
Earley, a two-time GAA All Star, had hoped to compete in this season’s Championship but a back injury has forced him call it quits earlier than expected.
Speaking to Irish radio station Newstalk yesterday, Earley said: “Unfortunately, I hurt the back in the warm-up against Dublin on May 10 and what I thought was a spasm was a disc that was bulging and hitting a nerve, and over the next two weeks it got progressively worse.
“I was really struggling with it and ended up having to have surgery. I had one operation that didn’t work and I had to go back in the following week to have a second one so that was five weeks.
“Initially, the first couple of weeks were very slow, but the last 10 days to two weeks I have started to feel a bit normal again and come back to myself. It’s a serious injury that does have a long rehab plan and to rehab it correctly I just don’t have enough time this season to do it.
“I had said it was going to be my last season anyway so unfortunately this operation has really ended my inter-county career. I’m quite sad about it but at the same time I am happy enough to make that decision.
“You’d like to finish on your own terms and go out on the playing field, but your health is your wealth and my body has been through a lot over the last number of years and I think this is the right decision to give it a rest and let it heal properly.”