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Gilligan tells of head injury fear.

Byline: By JACKIE CAHILL

CLARE hurler Niall Gilligan was left unconscious for 30 seconds and later detained for almost four hours in hospital after suffering a terrifying blow to the head in a challenge game against Offaly at the weekend.

Gilligan shipped the heavy knock during the behind-closed-doors workout at Cusack Park last Saturday evening.

The Sixmilebridge clubman will sit out training this week as he continues to experience pins and needles in his hands.

The 1997 All-Ireland medallist said: "I got an awful belt and it frightened the life out of me.

"A ball came in around the full forward line and as I tussled for possession, the ball drifted wide of goal.

"I flicked it outside the centre back but as I bent to rise the ball, I was caught by one of the Offaly midfielders.

"I was out for 30 seconds but once I came around, I thought that I would be fine. But then I began experiencing a tingling feeling all over my body and I felt stiff across my neck and back.

"I told Dr Padraig Quinn and he was concerned that it could be a dangerous situation with my spine.

"I was rushed to hospital where X-rays thankfully showed up that there was nothing broken in my neck but the doctor there told me to do nothing for the week.

"I may have to go for an MRI scan in a few days and it could be a disc pressing on my spine.

"I had awful pins and needles in my arms and although they have eased off a bit, my hands are a bit sore still.

"But I presume that I will be OK to face Waterford on June 1."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 13, 2008
Words:287
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