A shoulder injury will force Sean Cavanagh to miss Tyrone's entire 2012 Championship run, robbing the Red Hands of arguably their most influential player.
Cavanagh detached a tendon in his shoulder during his club Moy's All County League Division 2 game against Derrytresk last Sunday.
It is a cruel blow for the 2008 Footballer of the Year who only returned from a six month lay-off in March after undergoing surgery on a similar shoulder injury.
Speaking at the Tyrone Press Night in Cookstown, manager Mickey Harte explained: "Unfortunately the latest on Sean is not good. It's a similar injury to what he got last year, only on the other side, and it looks like a season (ending) injury again.
"We're really disappointed for him, we're all devastated. But that is where it's at and we have to live with that."
Tyrone face an Ulster Championship opener against Armagh on Sunday week, but a series of injuries - particulary in the forwards division - are hampering their preparations for the game.
With Cavanagh gone for the season and fellow attackers Kyle Coney, Ronan O'Neill and Tommy McGuigan also battling injuries, Harte has not ruled out asking some players to come out of retirement to help ease the injury crisis.
Asked whether one of them might be two-time All-Ireland winning captain Brian Dooher, he replied: "I can't name anybody until we see if it actually comes to fruition. It's not Brian Dooher, Brian's injured and can't even play for his club at the minute.
"There’s nothing confirmed yet. There has been some contact made, but it is a possibility and it may happen or it may not. It will depend really on the person involved, whether they commit to it or not."
There was some positive news for Harte last weekend when his current skipper Stephen O'Neill and midfielder Mickey Murphy both returned from injury to play for their club sides.