Tadhg Kennelly has slammed Kerry's fixture schedule as James O'Donoghue goes under the knife again

The 2014 footballer of the year has had ongoing problems with his shoulder

Tadhg Kennelly has slammed Kerry's fixture schedule as James O'Donoghue goes under the knife again

©INPHO/James Crombie

Former Kerry star Tadhg Kennelly has spoken out against Kerry’s fixture schedule and believes the congested arrangement was what caused James O’Donoghue's injury woes to flare up again.

O’Donoghue will miss a large portion of action next year as he undergoes a second procedure on his shoulder after dislocating it in the Kerry County final. Speaking at the AFL Europe Talent Combine in DCU yesterday, Kennelly said that O’Donoghue’s situation could have been avoided had he been given the allocated time to rehabilitate his injury:

We need to look at the scheduling of games. There's a lot of players here that are playing college, that are playing university, they're playing with their club, county in the months of December and January and not getting much of a break.

‘Now he's (James O’Donoghue) come into Christmas and he still hasn't had surgery. He'll probably miss the entire league and that goes back to your club scheduling and games that he has to play.’

O’Donoghue’s injury woes stretch back to August and Kerry’s Championship quarter-final win over Kildare. The 25 year-old Legion clubman managed to survive the rest of the season with heavy strapping on the shoulder as well as receiving regular treatment from a physio.

He intends to be back in time for the Munster final next year, but Kennelly argues that viewers will lament O'Donoghue's absence until then.

‘That's probably the disappointing thing for a Gaelic football admirer. You don't want to see the best players injured, you want to see them out there playing. But it's a nasty injury and it's going to take time to get it right. Your body needs a break and if you don't it's going to come back and bite you in the arse."