Paul Conroy lay on the Croke Park turf for what looked like eternity. Everybody feared the worst. Indeed, the worst was confirmed with the news that the midfielder had broken both his legs.

It was a season-ending injury for Conroy just as Galway were about to make strides in the Super 8s.

For the 29-year-old there was the physical pain, but also the mental anguish that he would not grace the field of play for the rest of the year. A positive outlook is a help in dealing with the latter.

Recalling, the horror of that leg break against Kerry on the 15 July, Conroy told RTÉ Sport's Darren Frehill: "It was about 20 minutes into the game and myself and Sean O'Shea slid for a ball in the middle of the pitch.

"We both collided and I came out worse. His knees would have slid into my shin bone - my tibia and my fibula. From that I got a double fracture - a fracture in my tibia and a fracture in my fibula on my left leg.

"In my right leg, there is a hairline fracture in my fibula. I suppose that's not overly serious in comparison to the other leg.

"I had surgery on the left leg on the Monday morning. I got a nail rod put down through the middle of the tibia which is the main weight-bearing bone. It was painful, but things are on the mend now."

A strong support network and watching his colleagues preparing for future battles is aiding Conroy in his recovery.

He continued: "Mentally, it was tough but I accepted early on in the week that I wouldn't be involved in football on the pitch for the rest of the year.

"I have good people around me, good family, good friends and a fiancé that has taken good care of me. When you have good people around it does help.

"You get to the latter stage of the championship and those are the games you want to be involved with - those high-stake games. I'll do my best off the pitch to help the lads whether it be doing a bit of analysis or stuff like that. I went to the training last week so it was good to meet them again and drive things on from the sideline."

As to how long the recovery will take, the St James’ clubman added: "I would say nine months with everything going well.

"I'll get over it, I will work on it and I'll be back next year. Seamus Coleman had the same injury and he got back ahead of time. It would be good to get in contact with Seamus to see how his recovery and rehab went.

In the meantime, Conroy will not be able to start work as a secondary school teacher in Claregalway College in September.

"People think that teachers sit down but I don't sit down in my job," he remarked.