Noel Connors' participation for Waterford in the upcoming Munster Senior Hurling Championship continues to look unlikely after the WIT student failed to line out for his club Passage last weekend.
The Waterford Championship began in recent days, with Connors a notable absentee giving him little time to be fit for the Déise's Munster semi-final date with Clare on June 17.
Connors missed all of Waterford's Allianz League Division 1 campaign due to a back problem, and got minor surgery on a bulged disc which is pressing on his sciatic nerve.
The 21-year-old defender said in March that his main focus is to be right for the Championship.
"There is no point in saying it’s not. I was told that the majority of the time it goes back itself with a small bit of rest," he said of his injury.
"I’ve been resting for the last three weeks. As a result of that I do feel a lot better.
"The pain in the nerve was going from my backside to the back of my calf. It has been relieved a lot because there is not as much pressure on it.
"I was talking to a specialist and he said in a few weeks it should be back to normal. The worst case scenario would be a small operation if it has to be. But I wouldn’t say it will go to that.
"My body was telling them to slow down, to taper back a bit. I’m not the type of fella to sit down if we lost or were out of the Championship. I’d go off and do something else.
"I’d play golf or football, something else so it is my own fault more than anything else."
The absence of Connors, coupled with the news that free-taker Pauric O'Mahony has been sidelined for three months, adds to the selection woes of manager Michael Ryan ahead of the Clare match.