Injury kept Daragh McNulty on the sidelines when Armagh faced Antrim in the opening round of the Ulster Minor League.
But the county captain recovered to play in the remain three games of the league against Derry, Monaghan and Down.
Armagh failed to win any games following that opening day victory over Antrim, who they face this weekend in the first round of the Ulster Championship.
In his two starts against Monaghan and Down, McNulty top scored for Armagh across the two games with 0-7.
“I tore my hip flexor in the first county training session of the year, and I was out for two months,” said the Redmond O’Hanlon’s club man.
“It was hard getting back in and getting fit; it’s tough but you just have to get through it. I did it in the warm-up, I literally just kicked a ball 20 yards, and it snapped.”
There wasn’t much pain with the injury, but it was enough to keep him out of action. But plenty of rehab saw McNulty return well ahead of the championship.
“I missed the Antrim game but came on against Derry for the last 10 minutes, played half the game against Monaghan and the full game against Down.
“It was tough going. The Down game wasn’t as bad as the other two, but it was still hard to get back into the flow.”
McNulty hits the frees for Armagh, off both feet, which is a skill set that even some of the best inter-county players struggle to master.
But the Orchard skipper has been doing it for the last few years. “I hit them with both feet. But if I tried to hit them off the ground with my left, they wouldn’t be that good.
“It’s hard enough, but you get used to it, through muscle memory. I was probably 12 when I started practicing off both feet.
“It’s the way to go, you need to be able to use both feet to be a good player. I just did it myself. One day I just started kicking lots with my left.”