Kilkenny superstar Henry Shefflin expects to make a fast return from his latest injury setback.
The 2012 Hurler of the year will undergo surgery in the New Year to sort out an ankle fracture and related ligament damage.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks forward picked up the injury in the Leinster SHC semi-final defeat against Wexford’s Oulart-the-Ballagh on December 1. The full extent of the injury only became apparent in recent days.
According to Ballyhale Shamrocks club secretary Sean O’Sullivan, he could be out for 8-10 weeks.
Shefflin admitted: "I’m not sure about the time line for anything yet.
"After the surgery, I will see how things progress. The specialist will know more then."
Shefflin, who has suffered cruciate ligament damage to both knees and a serious shoulder injury in recent years, will miss out on a Kilkenny team holiday to New York and Jamaica after Christmas.
Shefflin added: "I have had more than my fair share of injuries. "I will just have to put up with it and work at getting back as quickly as possible."
But O’Sullivan is confident the 11-time All Star will recover from another crippling injury blow.
O’Sullivan said: "I’m extremely biased of course being a fellow club man but you could only have the height of admiration for Henry and his capacity to take things like this on the chin.
"He doesn’t wallow in self-pity, he just gets on with it. I spoke to him a few days ago and obviously it’s an unwanted problem again. And it was a totally innocuous incident."
O’Sullivan, meanwhile, has admitted Ballyhale would have found themselves at a serious crossroads had they not regained the Kilkenny senior hurling club title this year.
The Noreside kingpins lost to Oulart-the-Ballagh but getting back on top within their own borders was always the primary goal for 2012.
O’Sullivan explained: "If we hadn’t got back on the winner’s podium, we were looking at a severe crossroads.
We were beaten in the Leinster semi-final but you won’t win too many games by only scoring a point in the second half. We had enough chances to win it but we weren’t our usual clinical selves.
"Oulart had enough chances to bury us too and they’re a team we highly respect. It’s baffling why they haven’t won a Leinster title with that team."