A few years back and Limerick's Kevin Downes would have been one of the first names on the team sheet, but a cruciate ligament injury has been a major setback to the Na Piarsaigh man.
Despite showing good form for his club whom he helped to another All-Ireland final this year, Downes has struggled to force his way back into the Limerick starting XV in 2018.
Indeed, he was included in the match day squad for the first time this year in the All-Ireland SHC semi-final, but did not see any game time.
Downes has not started a game for Limerick in two years now, his last outing being the 2016 All-Ireland SHC qualifier loss to Clare.
That was in July, the curse of the cruciate struck in August and although he was back to full fitness the following summer, he has had to wait for his chance and Downes admitted to the Limerick Leader that it has been frustrating at times.
"It's not easy when you are not involved in the match day and the last day was my first day togging out but you just try to keep as positive as possible and keep working away in training and keep trying to show yourself as best as possible and that's all you can do - no point sulking over spilt milk just keep going and keep focused," said the 26-year-old.
"When you are there with the club you are focused on the club and that's it, but when you stand back and look now, we missed the entire league campaign this year so it does put you at a disadvantage because you are coming back into a team that's settled and some positions are settled with lads playing well after winning games.
"You have to come in and earn your stripes - you are not going to get back into it because it's too competitive. The panel is incredibly competitive and the forwards especially."
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