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James Maher is targeting a return to the Kilkenny team despite suffering a serious injury last month.
A member of the Under-21 team, Maher was tipped to feature prominently for the senior team this year before breaking his kneecap in a freak accident on the family farm.
The injury had been expected to rule him out for the entire championship but he has not given up hope of lining out for the Cats later in the summer.
"I'm hoping to get back running in the next two weeks and to get back hurling in the next five of six. hopefully, all going well. But it depends how the recovery goes in the next couple of weeks," Maher is quoted as saying in the Irish Sun.
"It happened 5 1/2 weeks ago now. I had to get surgery all right. I had to get pins and a wire put into my kneecap.
"At the time I thought I was OK because I was able to walk after it happened. But it was very sore. I said I'd go in and just get an x-ray and it turned out to be broken."
While Maher is hoping for a speedy recovery, the forward admits he does not know how his knee will react when he returns to training.
"I suppose it's hard to tell yet. I'm really going to find out in the next few weeks when I get back running and how it reacts to all the training. But it's healing very quickly at the moment and the physios are happy with it," he added.
Maher impressed during the Allianz Hurling League but he faces a battle to regain his place in Brian Cody's plans.
"I was happy enough with how it was going for me in the league. I was enjoying the experience.
It's a bit of a setback with how it's after going. It'll be tough to get back but I'm looking forward to getting back over the summer and hopefully getting back in there and making a place."