HENRY SHEFFLIN faces yet another winter of injury frustration after it emerged that the injury he picked up in Ballyhale Shamrock's Leinster semi-final loss to Oulart-The Ballagh is more serious than originally anticipated.
Hurling's most decorated player went down with what was initially expected to be just a minor ankle injury but has since learned that he actually suffered a broken bone in his foot as well as nasty ligament damage and will now miss Kilkenny's team holiday to New York and Jamaica next month in order to undergo surgery to correct the problems.
Having committed to Brian Cody's cause for another season only last week, Shefflin is now in the all-too-familiar position of having to spend the winter correcting a serious injury, the fourth time in just five years he has faced such a slog.
Meanwhile, Laois's long search for a senior hurling manager has finally thrown up a willing-and-able candidate in Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett. Plunkett had, along with Paul Cuddy, initially been asked, by the county board to help find a replacement for Teddy McCarthy, who left the Laois office after just one disastrous season.
However, he is highly-regarded in the county for his work with the Laois minors over the past two years and will take Cuddy on board as a selector, with Pat Critchley to take over as minor manager.
Shane O'Rourke faces yet another year of injury uncertainty after admitting he is unsure when he will be able to return to inter-county football action.
The talented Simonstown man had two separate surgeries this year to correct a long-standing hip problem and has undergone intensive rehab in an attempt to play a part in Paddy O'Dowd's new regime.