I didn't want to 'chance' playing league final, says Tyrone captain

Stephen O'Neill is set to recommence training this week, following the injury which ruled him out of Tyrone's Allianz Football League final defeat to Dublin at Croke Park last month.

The Tyrone captain was a late withdrawal for the Division 1 decider after sustaining an ankle injury in the warm-up. He tripped over a football just minutes before the throw-in.

O'Neill says it was best to let the injury heal, and now he is looking forward to resuming training ahead of Tyrone's Ulster Championship opener against reigning All-Ireland champions Donegal on Sunday, May 26.

"I could have chanced it (playing in the league final), but then there is always the danger of completely wrecking it," he said after receiving the OPEL GAA-GPA Footballer of the League award at Croke Park today.

"We just decided that it needed a rest and I haven't trained for the last two weeks, and hopefully I will be back this week."

O'Neill said it was unfortunate for him not to feature in the final, and revealed that his ankle had been troubling him earlier in the campaign.

"It was just disappointing, we were doing the warm-up. I had a bit of bother with my ankle from earlier in the year and I just went over on it, and I didn't get to play."

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