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Published: 10:18 | 9/2/16

McGrath mad for games

?Noel McGrath is 'looking forward to the challenge ahead' after missing most of the 2015 season.

McGrath was diagnosed with testicular cancer in April 2015 and underwent surgery to treat the disease just four days later.

He returned to training with the Tipperary senior hurlers in early June before receiving a standing ovation when he was introduced as a substitute in the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway.

With his health issues behind him, McGrath is relishing the opportunity to focus all his energies on helping Tipperary in their pursuit of silverware.

"I did miss a lot of last year, a lot of tough training, so I’m still trying to build myself back to full fitness, to fit in with the team again. So it’s hard to know. I’d like to think I’m back up to speed with the rest of them, but time will tell," McGrath is quoted as saying in the Irish Times.

"I’m just looking forward to the challenge ahead, having missed nearly all of last year. I’m mad for games, and will be pushing myself as hard as I can to make the 26 for match day, and everyone is in the same boat.

"I suppose last April, I wasn’t sure what was going to come of it, where I was going to be, if or when I’d ever get back playing. And I’m just delighted that I am back. But people have been out for longer than me with different types of injuries, broken arms or broken legs or bad injuries like that, and spent a lot of time away from the game.

"I’m just looking forward to getting this year going, getting back to normality. I got some great support and people have been really good to me, and I really appreciate that. But I suppose I’m 25 years of age now and you don’t realise how quick your career goes. So now it’s all about being back playing, hoping Tipp can be successful again in 2016."

Tipperary's Allianz Hurling League opener against Dublin is live on Setanta Ireland on Saturday evening. Coverage begins at 6.30pm.

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