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Keegan slams’ ‘dirty tackle’ on Regan


BAD BREAKMayo’s Evan Regan is helped from the field after sustaining a broken cheekbone against Kerry in the National League last Saturday night. Pic: Sportsfile

Paul Keane

LEE Keegan has hit out at the ‘very bad challenge’ by a Kerry defender which resulted in a concussion and serious facial injury for Mayo colleague Evan Regan.
Attacker Regan was on the receiving end of a heavy hit from Kerry’s Ronan Shanahan (who was booked for the high challenge) early in the second-half of Saturday’s Allianz league Division 1 defeat.
Regan, visibly dazed, was helped off the field in Castlebar and medics subsequently confirmed a facial bone fracture which is expected to rule him out of action for up to eight weeks.
Keegan, still recovering from hip surgery, said that he had a clear view of the incident and was angry with the challenge.
“A very bad challenge to be honest,” said Keegan. “I was literally in line with it. It was bad now, I have to say. I was chatting to him yesterday (Sunday) and he was in a bad way still. I know he got a bit of bad news, he has to get surgery I think. That’s the outcome of this which is unfortunate because it was a prime opportunity for him to put his name in there and to try to get a starting spot for the Championship. That’s something he’s been trying to do for the last couple of years.
“He’d started well in the league and it’s unfortunate. It happened a few years ago against Kerry where he broke his collarbone as well. Kerry seems to be a bit of a bad omen for him at the moment.”
Keegan described the Shanahan hit as ‘a dirty tackle’ and suggested that Regan could be out for some time.
“He’s going to have to try to look after that for a couple of months anyway,” said Keegan, potentially ruling Regan out for the remainder of the campaign.
Keegan said a key ambition for Mayo in the coming weeks, aside from pushing hard for a league final place, is to turn Castlebar into their fortress ahead of the visit of Galway in the Connacht championship.
“The big thing for us is that you want to win Division 1 obviously but the other big thing for us is our home record, we want to improve on that,” said Keegan, the 2016 GAA Footballer of the Year.
“It’s been pretty tragic over the last few years, in terms of the league anyway. Galway are coming to Castlebar on May 13 and they are going to think the same thing, that a home game for Mayo is probably a plus for them because they beat us there a couple of years ago as well.
“It’s anything but (a fortress) at the moment and that’s a very disappointing aspect for us. I think our away record is probably brilliant, our home record not so good. I think a lot of teams want to do it the opposite way around. They want to make their home ground their fortress.”
Keegan said his own recovery is going well and revealed he’s planning a return to action late next month in the concluding stages of the league.
“I’d like to get some minutes in the league, as a player you want to get back as quickly as possible but I’m going to follow my medical advice as best as possible because I don’t want a setback with the Galway game on May 13, it’s a short gap from the league to the Championship,” he said.

Lee Keegan was speaking at the offices of Sports Physio Ireland, located on Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Street Upper, a unique sports injury practice, dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries and musculoskeletal problems.