Laois captain Stephen Attride has suffered a double-fracture to his skull, which will rule him out of the Leinster final and the rest of the season.
Attride sustained the injury in stoppage time as he collided with Carlow's Ciarán Moran, taking a knee to the head in the contest for a breaking ball.
The 23-year-old was knocked out in the incident, stretchered off the field and taken to the Mater Hospital where he was kept overnight.
“He was knocked out for a couple of minutes and he has a deep gash – but he has a double fracture of the skull and he’s unlikely to play football again this year,” Laois Football Board Chairman Laurence Phelan told LaoisToday.
“It’s such a hard blow. It was an incredible act of bravery – one of the bravest acts I’ve ever seen – and it stopped a Carlow attack when they were driving on looking for a goal to level the game.”
The County Board wished their "inspirational captain" a speedy recovery on Twitter.
The Laois Senior Footballers, Management and backroom team would like to thank all the Laois supporters today and for those who couldn’t make it see you in The Leinster final , they also want to wish their inspirational Captain Stephen Attride a speedy recovery #laoisabu 🔵⚪️— Laois GAA (@CLGLaois) June 10, 2018
Terrible news about Laois captain Stephen Attride who suffered a fractured skull. Incredibly brave the ball he went in for, he dived on a ball in the last minute knowing he would be getting serious contact— Colm Parkinson (@Woolberto) June 11, 2018
Underperformed today as a team!! Good luck to @CLGLaois
Wishing Stevie Attride a speedy recovery!! Class from Evan O Carroll also!! Fair play 👍— Seán Gannon (@CannonGannon9) June 10, 2018
Earlier this year, Attride's Laois teammate Daniel O’Reilly sustained a fractured skull in an assault in Carlow after April's Division 4 final.