McCormack and Ryan woe for Dubs
CONOR McCORMACK has become the latest addition to the Dublin hurler's injury list while it has also been confirmed that his Ballyboden St Enda's attacking colleague Paul Ryan will miss the remainder of the league.
Both picked up knocks in Sunday's dramatic one-point defeat in Nowlan Park as Kilkenny surged back from the concession of six goals - one each from Ryan and McCormack - to snatch victory at the death.
And there was more bad news for Anthony Daly after the duo were ruled out for Saturday evening's clash with Tipperary in Croke Park (5.0).
McCormack has undergone a scan on knock he took in that game and looks set to be ruled out of action this weekend while Ryan - who suffered a minor hamstring tear - will miss the entirety of the remainder of the league.
That means that Dublin will have to plan without last year's All-Ireland SHC top-scorer for their meeting with Waterford in Fraher Field on April 1 and a potential relegation play-off two weeks later if, as is now looks odds-on that Dublin will finish in the bottom two.
Daly's attacking hand is now severely weakened ahead of Tipp's visit to GAA headquarters on Saturday and he will be forced into making at least two changes to his forward line.
Alan McCrabbe replaced Ryan last Sunday in Nowlan Park and would now be considered a likely starter to face Declan Ryan's Premier County while also taking over on free-taking duties, as he has in the past with Dublin.
McCormack's injury may prompt a rethink which involved Liam Rushe coming out to play in the full-forward line while both David Treacy and Nowlan Park goal-scorer, Eamon Dillion could be in line for a start in the full-forward line.
Alternatively, if Daly goes for a 'like for like' replacement, Ross O'Carroll could be set for a first competitive start since his return from the footballers but either way, Dublin's hand will be severely depleted.
Already out for Saturday are Conal Keaney, Stephen Hiney, Tomás Brady and Peter Kelly - all of whom are nearing their comebacks but who will play no part before this year's championship.
Saturday's hurling clash forms part of a double-header with Dublin's footballers facing Donegal (7.15) in a repeat of last year's All-Ireland SFC semi-final. Legendary band, The Dubliners, will provide the between game entertainment.