James Morgan back after horror crash injuries
James Morgan believed that his playing career had ended when he incurred serious injuries in a car accident in the immediate aftermath of Armagh's exit at the hands of Galway in this year's All Ireland qualifiers.
The youthful defender has since spent months in hospital and now that he has embarked on a full-scale rehabilitation programme, the Crossmaglen Rangers defender hopes not only to resume his club career but regain his place in the orchard county line-up.
For Morgan, though, it's one day at a time as he bids to blank out the horror of his injuries and focus instead on what he hopes will be "a positive future".
A dislocated hip and shattered arm comprised the major damage that his body suffered and as recently as October and November he again underwent major surgery.
Just a month ago he was still consigned to a wheelchair – today, though, he is doing what he describes as "a light bit of cycling and swimming" as he slowly strives to regain the high level of fitness which was his trademark.
After Christmas he intends to step up his rigorous personal fitness programme in the hope of returning to the Armagh side before the end of the Allianz League.
"I would just love to get back in there at some point in the league," says Morgan.
"I have not had the opportunity to really nail down a place in the side and obviously when I got injured I thought my whole career was over. But thank God I am getting stronger with each passing week and while I am taking things slowly, I am optimistic that I will get back into action at some stage in the Spring."
Prior to the accident, Morgan had been in outstanding form for club and county with orchard boss Paul Grimley hailing his qualities
"James is a terrific defender, a tenacious marker. It's encouraging to know that he is making such good progress," says Grimley.
Morgan, indeed, has been left to rue a year which was littered with personal misfortune from his perspective.
"I got a hamstring injury before Armagh's game in the Ulster championship against Cavan and was out for about six weeks and then I came back for the qualifiers and got three games under my belt there. Then the night after the Galway game I was involved in the accident and that was that," reflects Morgan.