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Clare defender Oisin O'Brien underwent emergency surgery on a punctured lung earlier this month, manager Davy Fitzgerald has revealed.
After being ruled out of the Allianz Hurling League final replay after struggling during the warm-up, O'Brien was checked in hospital but was allowed to leave and the following morning the defender flew to Austria.
However, a medical report revealed a serious problem and he was ordered to visit a hospital in Austria when contact was finally made.
He subsequently underwent surgery to repair a punctured lung.
"He was putting on his jersey. There was a bit of panic inside because he couldn't breathe," Fitzgerald told the Irish Examiner. "And being Oisín, he tried to come out on the field and he couldn't breathe.
"I had to walk him in out of the field that day. He was on his knees inside in the dressing-room. He was taken to hospital in Clonmel.
"He was actually out in Austria when we got the results back from the hospital. He probably shouldn’t have gone but he did.
"He had about ten missed calls the next day so he had to go straight to hospital there and get it done.
"We couldn’t fly him home, we had to get him back by train and by boat.
"It took us a bit of time to get him back, he was in hospital for four days out there, getting a procedure done."
Despite the operation, O'Brien is back training with the Clare hurlers and could feature against Waterford in the Munster SHC semi-final on June 5.