Lee’s heading straight for surgery

Photo: Hogan Stand (Inpho/Tommy Dickson)

A few of you have already mentioned that piece by Colm Keys in the Irish Independent this morning (which is here) confirming that Lee Keegan has opted for immediate surgery to deal with the dislocated shoulder injury he picked up last Sunday.

Going this route will clearly add to the time Lee’s out of action this summer. Realistically it means – regardless of whether or not we go via the front door or the scenic route – we’re unlikely to see him again until the Super Eights. That’s, of course, assuming we get that far. I’m not saying we won’t, by the way, I’m merely stating the obvious that, given the path ahead of us, we’ve no guarantee either that we will.

Lee’s decision to go for surgery undoubtedly makes sense. If a shoulder dislocates once it’s very likely it’ll pop again and, as I said the other day, every time he takes the field you can be sure that whoever he comes up against will be very quick to test it. Given this, opting for the long-term fix is clearly the best way to go.

All we can do now is wish him all the best and hope everything goes smoothly both in relation to the procedure itself and his rehab. All the best on both fronts, Leeroy.

Losing the 2016 Footballer of the Year is, for sure, an enormous blow for us but it’s one we simply have to suck up and get on with. A player like Lee is, literally, irreplaceable but it’s up to others now to stand up and lead the charge.

That piece by Colm Keys, by the way, include a welcome hint that Keith Higgins could be back in the fold for the Galway game in May. According to that report, he’s not going to feature on Sunday – that, to be honest, was always a long-shot – but it’ll be great to have him back for the championship.

82 thoughts on “Lee’s heading straight for surgery

  1. Obviously Lee’s new injury is a disaster for us, but the most important thing is his health and wellbeing. He should look after himself: he owes us nothing.

    Best of luck to him in his recovery.

  2. Best of luck to Lee, tough on him only after recovering from hip surgery… recovery can be a lonely journey for players and requires mental strength and determination. This brings into focus what these amateur players go through for club and county, we need to think of this when the odd pass goes astray!!!
    On Sunday we need to roar on our team, relegation cannot be an option!!

  3. Good luck to lee and I hope he takes the time and only comes back when 100%
    The last thing he needs is a recurring injury
    An amazing servent or the mayo jersey

  4. Probably the best decision for Lee in the long run, it’s just such a pity after the work he had put into getting back from his last 2 surgeries… One can only admire what these guys put themselves through for the love of the jersey. People should remember this whenever they feel like taking a shot at some of the players! Best of luck to Lee in his recovery, (and Cillian too!)

  5. Mind yourself Leeroy, all the best for the recovery. No point waiting for it to go again.

    Mayo ABU

  6. I’m glad Lee is taking this route for his own sake; the last thing any player wants, particularly one as physical as Lee is to be taking to the field knowing you’re vulnerable to targeting. And he has the rest of his life to think about as well as his sporting career. Wishing him a very speedy recovery – and we know he has super fast healing powers so I reckon he’ll be back playing club within a fortnight 😉

    A great opportunity for others now to step up. I’d say Damien Comer is gutted …

  7. Best of luck to Lee.
    Definitely the right decision to go for the op. We’d all be living in fear every time someone went in on him with a shoulder otherwise (and he would be targeted constantly), it would surely go again ala Cillian a few years ago.
    Interesting to note that Cillian has not had any further problems with the shoulder since he went and had the op, so hopefully that”ll be the same outcome for Lee.
    But christ we’ll miss him. The finest player I’ve ever seen pull on the green and red.

    In terms of the game, I think we’ll sneak it. These lads are continually written off, but always deliver when their backs are to the wall. I know it’s not looking promising judging by our shite form so far in the league, the Tyrone game being the lowest point by quite some distance.
    But these are proud men, relegation would be a blow to all of them and their pride. I think they’ll summon a performance from somewhere.
    Or maybe it’s just that it’s Friday and I’m oozing misplaced optimism and cheer!

  8. Right decision for Lee re surgery. Wish him well.

    It’s a tough week to be a Mayo supporter. Injuries to top players and a game for survival to finish it off.
    In hindsight there have been 4 teams in the division that have played a good level of football. Looking at the stats there should have been 2 candidates for the drop. Donegal and Kildare. But somehow we have worked our way in to the relegation battle again.
    I have a feeling that we will know what’s in store for us well before the final whistle.
    The question is are we capable of getting the reaction we now need from the team or are we going to see another display like we had last week ?
    It’s probably not a good sign to be able to say that there aren’t many if anyone on the blog that could take a.confident guess of how the.team will line out. Imagine 7th game in the league and if 20 people were to post their teams you could possibly see 20 different line outs. That cannot be a good sign.
    I’ll have the heart in the mouth again hoping that somehow, some way there is a big game in there.
    I’ll live in hope that we play well Sunday, that some of the players will put in stellar performances and that the team play as a team. If they do that we have a good chance. I’m not going to run through the alternative.

    Now for the long wait.

  9. Wishing Lee and Cillian a speedy and full recovery ( two great leaders on the field). Big Vocal Mayo support needed in Ballybofey, we have to get behind Our Team on Sunday. Mayo will need REAL LEADERS on the field, we also have to win the middle third.

  10. I think under the circumstances this is the best course of action. As WJ alluded to there’s always the danger of the shoulder popping out so best to go for the most effective solution. We can still take Galway without Lee but he’s certainly a big time player. Look at how he kept Kilkenny quiet in last year’s final and the crucial goals against Dublin also.

    All is not lost however – he’ll be back.

  11. Absolute key player but this happens and it’s why we have a squad. The number 5/6 jersey has now presented itself to “occupy” for a while. Back to return and stake their claim, Higgins, Barrett, Vaughan, Harrison from our usual selections. Plus others may step up. They have to.

    Whatever about Galway / Super 8’s the game on Sunday is crucial.

  12. Best wishes to Lee on his surgery, and recovery, Cillian as well, they put their bodies on the line for the cause, and it must be a hard pill to swallow. Hopefully a win on Sunday will ease their pain a little bit. Come on Mayo, ye don’t belong in division 2.

  13. Speedy recovery Lee. Please God you’ve the Super 8’s to look forward to on your return!

  14. We have been very lucky with injuries for the last couple of years. We were bound to get caught eventually.
    But if we are the 2nd best team in the country surely a couple of men out shouldn’t drop our value so much as to fear most of the chasing pack ?!
    Lee should be ready for the super 8 later so we’ll just have to do without him til then…

  15. Very hard on Lee to have to go through a layoff like this and an operation too. I hope that buffoon from Tyrone is proud of himself, he went in to do damage, it seemed , from the video. A tough guy for sure to blindside any player.
    Anyways the best of luck and get well soon to Lee Keegan. Probably the best alround footballer the game has seen, can anyone name one better than him? Ever?

  16. Meant to include this in the post but forgot to – best of luck to Lee’s alma mater, Rice College, who take on Naas CBS this afternoon in the Hogan Cup semi-final. The match throws in at Padraig Pearse’s GAA club in Woodmount, Roscommon, at 12.30pm today.

  17. Best wishes to Lee on his surgery its the right way to go because if he did not go for surgery it would always be on the back of his mind every time he played he will be back better then ever in his own time he needs his friends and family more then ever I had the same surgery my self it was a long road

  18. Yikes , I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster,
    This week is definitely been ruled my head one minute , my heart the next , I don’t contribute much here , but I do read every single comment ,
    Feel lees decision to go for surgery is the best one for him , his health is priority without a doubt , granted he is a massive massive loss , but this is where the others need to step up , his absence might just spur the others on !
    Me and my family never miss a match , so this one in Ballybofey is no different , I really feel support is going to be essential to assisting out heroes getting the required two points ,
    The bit about Keith and the uncertainty of his return for Sunday has been a sucker punch for me we really could do with him bursting forward at pace , who will take Our frees & 45s ? Jason or Conor , Robbie ??
    Cillians loss on Sunday is going to sting I just hope one of the two above prove that Our forward line doesn’t and shouldn’t depend on one person.
    Regardless of the outcome I have some much respect for this team , it’s been a pleasure to be part of such magnificent days over the last 7 years , they are all heroes , and I for one will play my part in that last battle of that league 2018 ,
    Mayo to sneak it by 2 ! Fingers and toes crossed .
    Thank you wj for your endless efforts ,
    Continuous wealth of info and knowledge , this blog is just the business !

  19. 2 extra coming with me on Sunday
    One adult one child
    I read somewhere the child still needs a ticket even though they are free ?
    Do we get this in SuperValu as well ?

  20. Goodluck to Lee on his surgery and rehab, without doubt the greatest Mayo footballer of all time, he’ll be sorely missed. Surgery is the correct way to go. If he does’nt feature again this season so be it. A half backline of Boyle/Barrett/Durcan is still top class.

  21. Best overall player in the entire country for these last few years.

    A definite inclusion in the best Mayo 15 of all time.

  22. Donegal has not lost a game in ballybofey for the last 19 games including a game against Dublin good read about it on donegal daily

  23. As we’re all thinking, best of luck to Lee with the recovery! If there’s any upside, hopefully it allows for more rehabilitation with the hips as well.

  24. Best of luck to Leeroy in his recovery.

    I’m kinda thinking this year could be a write off…? Maybe we all need a break, players and fans. It’s been a long tough, emotionally draining 7 years.

    Of course I hope it doesent pan out that way but anyone else with the same feeling?

  25. If Keegan is out for 10 weeks he would be back for the Connacht final (if Mayo get there) Mayo only need a draw Sunday and in those 19 games Donegal have drawn with Meath,Sligo and Dublin twice in Ballyfofey.

  26. Yew_tree, you’re certainly not alone in thinking that. I’ve heard others say the same.
    It’s a nagging doubt at the back of my mind all right, but I just think we have enough in us to make another real go of it this year.
    Players like Andy Moran and those around that age wouldn’t have come back again this year if they thought the year would be a write off. They all have one goal in mind, and they clearly believe they can achieve it this year. That’s good enough for me.
    If we would have had 3 or 4 of the players calling it quits after the crushing disappointment of last year, then I would say maybe they think our goose is cooked. But it’s just Dillon who retired (and he was 35 I think and a bit part player at that stage), so they believe it’s still possible. They’ve proven many people wrong too many times at this stage for me to lose faith in them.

    I honestly believe we will beat Galway, and then the whole year really opens up for us.

  27. Best of luck to Lee. Major loss not having him or Cillian. What da chance if Freeman being name n 26 on Sun. Could be a game to prove himself

  28. Anyone else feel that teams have gone out to physically hurt us this year. I suppose we have a reputation for being physical and teams are trying to lay down a marker. Saying that every game we played teams teams have been dirty. The only teams that tried to play football was Dublin and Kildare. That shite may work in February/March but it wont work later in the year.

  29. Ruby Walsh and Lee Keegan – both just made it back and then bang again.

    Both are superstars and their will to win and be ‘in the saddle’ is indomitable.

  30. I personally don’t see us beating Donegal up there. They’re a fine team regardless of they’re points tally, if we do ill take my hat off to our boys as i’ve done many many times before. We haven’t taken the league seiriously in about 6 years, and imo, now karma has arrived to kick us in the stones. But its not the end of the world IF we’re relegated, it won’t have much impact on the championship.

    I get what Yew Tree is saying above, its been a draining 7 years mentally. But they were the best 7 years of our lives as supporters, sure we fell short, but dont tell me any Galweigan or Rossie or Meath man etc, would’nt give they’re right arm to see their team line out in the big days we’ve had. They’ll jibe with the “ye won nothing” remarks, but the journey was epic, and theirs no drug in existence that compares to that high we got just as the reff goes for the throw in on All Ireland final day!!! Im not for one second saying this season is finished, its only begining whatever the resukt Sunday. Galway will be 8 weeks without a competitive game come May 13th…ask yourselves who needs the 8 week break more? Us or them? Without doub its us, there momentum will stall, while we’ll be back to near top fitness. One win in May will set us on the road again. Im confident we’ll do it.

  31. Well, Rice College certainly did Lee proud today! They beat Naas CBS by 0-13 to 1-7 (and they were down by 1-5 to 0-5 at the break) and now face either St Ronan’s Lurgan or PS Chorcha Dhuibhne in the Hogan Cup final on 7th April.

  32. JP would like to proudly raaaaaaaaaaaave about our underage talent 🙂
    That is a massive, massive result. We have been crying out to have a powerhouse school in Mayo.
    I see Rice College having an increasing draw in that area due to the attraction of being competitive A level football.
    Pat Lambert 5 points in the second half!! Held Naas to two points in the second half!!

  33. Wise decision by Lee to have surgery,get it out of the way and start recovery.
    Good luck to him and looking forward to having him back, when he is ready.
    Well done to Rice College, great for underage football in Mayo, going forward.
    Hope, we get a win or draw, in Ballybofey,
    If not, we will move on to championship @ take it game by game @ see where it leads.
    Up Mayo.

  34. Having had this procedure myself, the recovery time will all depend if Lee opts for a key-hole or an open-surgery. This will depend on the severity of the damage to the joint and surrounding muscles…As it is his first shoulder injury, hopefully he is a suitable candidate for key hole, which should half the recovery time. I am glad he has made this call as it has been the best decision I’ve ever made after 6 dislocations! Without a doubt stronger and more stable than my other shoulder now, so best of Luck to Lee, and no doubt he will be back stronger than ever, and can definetly be recovered in time for August.

  35. Whooh Rice College. Lee’s old school. Kevin Keane on the sidelines too with them today. What a result! Only bit of good news on a depressing week all round.

  36. Serious progress for Rice College. Here’s hoping they can finish the job. Colman’s in ’77 still the only Mayo success, and no Connacht winner since Jarlath’s back in 2002 (just after they stopped taking boarders).

  37. Well done Rice. As well as this and with the work being done at underage level at clubs like Westport, Belmullet, Mitchells, etc. Mayo football is far from finished. Keep the faith. We also had good performances recently from Westport intermediates, Ballinrobe Community School, Mitchells seniors. Lets lose the depression – that is not our style. We are mad we are Mayo.

  38. Well done to Rice College on a fine result. Hopefully they can finish the job in style now!

  39. Leeroy just tweeted ‘Congratulations’ to Rice College. What an inspirational person he is.

  40. Best of luck to Lee I hope everything goes well for him looking forward to see him fighting fit back in the Mayo jersey if not this year 2019

  41. Now that the decision is made.. I feel it’s the right way to go,… Lee will be back, I wish him all the very best.. Definitely as others have said easily the best player ever to play for Mayo… Best wishes to Cillian as well for a quick recovery…. I never pick the team, because I know that the management have far more knowledge than me… But for me, it’s essential that we make a change at full back…. Ger Caff is being exposed time after time, as he was in last year’s championship… When Boyle was sent last Sunday…. Boyle was playing sweeper and protecting the D in front of Ger Caff… On the restart, Tyrone targeted Ger immediately.. In the first minute, Tyrone missed a sitter for a goal, I think it may have even hit the butt of the post… A few minutes later the ball was in the Net, game over… Ger McDonagh is the man I believe we have now to go with.. And personally I would like to see Kevin Keane back on the Mayo panel (remember Ger kept Cillian very quite in the County Final, Cillian was eventually Red Carded, and actually got up the field to score the winning points)… In Cillians absence next Sunday,… We have no other choice but to go with either, Connor Louftus or Neil Douglas… Has to be a recognised free taker!… Anyways I will be there, good and early…. This time while a the match…. I won’t have to listen to Martin Carney trying to convince everyone he’s on their side.

  42. for sunday would go with:

    Clarke

    ODonoghue
    Coen
    Crowe

    Barret

    Durcan
    Boyle
    Mclaughlin

    SOS
    Parsons
    DOC

    Loftus

    Doherty
    AOS
    Moran

    Play 3 up and kick long

  43. Speedy recovery to lee, , some one else need to step toward now put the hand up, never mind doom n gloom and worrying bout gLways comer, I say Christs barrett man for him , no nonsense tight marking back, n take no bull shit either from thet goon…as for Sunday, lads will stand up n be counted, no fear …..Muigheo abu

  44. What about St. Nathy’s in 1957? Surely a Mayo victory? Not all Mayo lads, but then Jarlath’s are not all Galway lads.
    PS Well done RC.

  45. Great to hear about that win for Rice college. As someone mentioned earlier, it’s nice to have something positive to talk about after one wholly fucking depressing week.
    A win (or draw) on Sunday and there will be more light coming through for us. A win then on 13th May, it’s full steam ahead again.
    Keep the faith lads and lassies

  46. Best wishes and great recovery to Lee. That photo of him on 02 on pitch gives me the shivers and what these guys as amatures go thru for the love of their county. We should all together circle the wagons now for Lee and Cillian.
    I voted for a win on Sunday and I think the lads will give it their all on Sunday. Good luck to all.

  47. RealisticaLEE the correct decision. HonestLEE expect to see him back for the business end when he will manfulLEE nudge us to the promised land… hopefulLEE. TruLEE a heroe for us Mayo folk. I’m definiteLEE certainLEE proud of you Lee and wish you a speed(iLEE) and perfect (LEE) recovery. I’m confident we are going to win on Sunday. ThankfuLEE. MAYO… forever

  48. As someone posted earlier its a tough week to be a Mayo supporter..We’ve had worse tho..Wishing Lee a smooth and speedy recovery..He is an immense talent..

  49. Best wishes to Lee, if any man can come back stronger from this then it is Lee.

    We hear a lot about Cillian’s scoring stats but one that we don’t hear a lot about is that in the Roscommon game last year when Lee scored 1-3, he became the top scoring defender of all time from play, passing Kerry’s great Tomas O’Sé. So that is some achievement for him especially with him having a good few years ahead of him yet.

    Well done to Rice College as well and best of luck to them in the final. It would be great to bring another All-Ireland title back to Westport after their Intermediate team winning one last year.

  50. Donegal going to be playing the master of all blanket defence because they know we can not play against it well

  51. When I was in St Colman’s in the 1980’s, we never beat St Jarlaths, not once, and were always told about the heroics of the 77 team. We suffered due to poor coaching in the School. Some very good players went there.

  52. One of the greatest to play the game. I am amazed at how much these fellas give and how it impacts their lives. Hoping Lee recovers speediLEE!

  53. There are plenty of good young footballers in all Mayo schools – it’s good coaching and good structures that are needed to get best out of these players. Hopefully the recent development plans announced by the county board will get our underage performances back on track. It’s badly needed.

  54. If any of ye are into prayer please say one for the 4 people involved in that horrific crash in Bangor Erris this evening there is one month old baby among them

  55. Wishing Lee a speedy recovery. This is the correct decision on every level. Having suffered numerous dislocations myself I very slowly came to the realisation that surgery was the only cure-which it was TG. I believe that it is now key hole surgery but could be wrong. I have no doubt he’ll be ready for the business end of the season if we are still there.
    Great result for Rice also. It will give a boost to the much maligned underage structures in the county and we should make every effort to get behind them on April 7.

  56. Best wishes to Lee for a speedy recovery. While this not my field I think he made the correct decision for his well being going forward. Best wishes to Cillian too. I believe we will win on Sunday and the margin will not count. Div 2 would be a disaster and I am confident it will not be our lot this weekend. I am still processing the fact that Rice College will be playing the Hogan Cup on the 7th of April. Well done to all involved with them

  57. Wishing Lee a speedy recovery, def the right choice of action. Do it once and do it right. As was stated previously he owes us nothing, a top man, who gives us his all. Best of luck Lee. Nervous myself about Donegal but this boys are survivors!!! Safe travelling everyone

  58. Yes very impressed with Rice college. With all the negative vibes about injuries, poor underage performance and coaching and the challenge facing us this Sunday not to mention Galway in may… this is a tonic and really gives a boost to morale… well done Westport. Believe in yourselves and the wealth of talent in Mayo. Onward together. Rice college, Westport, Mayo…

  59. A magnificent competitor .. for me the most valuable player in the country over the last 3 years. One of the best half backs of all time. Speedy recovery Lee!!

  60. This is a massive acheivment for Rice College and Westport deserves its own article, Mayo don’t have a very strong record in the Hogan cup, because usually the best footballers in Mayo and sons of famous footballing families throughout Connacht were sent to board in St Jarlaths Tuam the famous footballing nursery before it ended in 2007 so they dominated Connacht with 46 Connacht titles and are the record holder in Ireland with 12 Hogan cups.Only 2 other colleges in Mayo ,St Colmans Claremorris and St Geralds Castlebar reached All Ireland finals.Colmans the only school to win won in 1977 and it was the first non boarding school to win won aswell ,they also lost a final in 1981.
    St Geralds been the most recent Mayo team in a final losing in 1997.
    So its great to see Rice college in a final, before this they had never even won a Connacht Senior A cup as Westport used to been seen in Mayo as a big soccer and rugby town generally.
    As a county we need to target schools football like Kerry have done, since Dublin Domination they have targeted schools football in the county and it has payed off with 4 All Ireland Minor titles and the holder of the last 4 Hogan cups.
    Rice College,St Colmans,St Geralds and St Muredachs in Ballina the 4 big A footballing schools in the county should be helped out by the County Board in providing them with top coaches and finance to access good pitch facilities and it will reap rewards.

  61. Hope either Barrett or Harrison ready to play the next day. Our problems have been more up the field but would be nice to have those lads back and Vaughan too.
    As for free taker, I believe Adam Gallagher also takes them though I think Conor Loftus will be given the job. His return has been good when asked to take it on. We also need to feed him the ball as he’s the weakest of our inside forwards at winning his own ball. Use him as a decoy to drag backs out of the way. Also wondering if Evan back in action. Similar player to Loftus but left footed which is useful for balance. Neither have proven themselves but both show some promise. Also Conor OS played a few mins last day, could he be worth another punt maybe as FF.

  62. Long term I’d be wondering if COS could play full back. Big, fairly fast, athletic, and strong. Mickey Harte has come up with curve ball changes in the past why not Mayo.
    Also if we can get enough defenders back would be worth putting one in as a corner forward with express intention of winning ball. Higgins the obvious candidate for a roaming role. Has the kind of adaptable intelligence that can help beat the blanket defenses. Otherwise Paddy Durcan would beat any corner back out to a ball. Vaughan also useful but probably as a tracking wing forward, potentially freeing up Diarmaid for another role. If Donegal game and training games for Galway fail to identify a new corner forward then we need to think outside the box.

  63. Fair play to Rice College but I don’t think schools football success is as important as it once was.

    Galway schools haven’t done anything over the past few years yet Galway have still won 3 Connacht minor titles in a row and have won those championships fairly easily. The emphasis is more on clubs than schools these days.

  64. Probably the loss of boarders has taken a lot away from the likes of Jarlaths obviously.

    Nathys also reached an all ireland final TH albeit a B I think , Andy Moran would of been on that team , maybe 99/00 ish . Johnno managed them and I believe it was the birth of a great crop of Ballagh footballers.

  65. In Galways case, young footballers must be spread over many schools, but having a strong team in the one school has advantages too. And a strong club, to back them up and continue their progress is a bonus. Lee has been the inspiration, Westport will produce it’s share of county players in the coming years

  66. Best of luck to Lee with the recovery. Has had some great moments for us, but will never forget how he dragged us back into the game the first day in the quarter against Roscommon last year.

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