The former Footballer of the Year damaged the joint playing for Moy in a club game on Sunday.
While it isn’t the same shoulder that ruled him out of last year’s International Rules trip to Australia, Harte fears it may end Cavanagh’s season.
“It’s too early to call just yet, but the information I’m hearing is not good. It appears that it might be similar to another injury that he had on the shoulder last year. He’s gone to get a scan to discover the nature of the injury. We’re fearing the worst.”
About the possibility of Cavanagh missing the Championship Harte said: “If it’s the similar injury that will be the case. We’re hoping that it won’t be as serious as that, but we have to see what the experts tell us.”
With Armagh on their radar on Sunday week, Harte doesn’t hide the fact that Cavanagh’s absence would be a serious blow to Tyrone’s aspirations.
“Of course it does — you can’t take quality players out of your side and expect to be as good. Of course it will reduce our chances, but we’re not pessimists — we’re optimists. We’ll take the challenge on.”
With Kyle Coney and Ronan O’Neill gone for the season and Tommy McGuigan also injured, the Ballygawley man doesn’t rule out the possibility of tempting one of the players who retired last season back into the county fold.
The likes of Enda McGinley, Brian McGuigan or Brian Dooher may be able to do a job for Harte in an attack shorn of players.
“You have to look at what’s required, do any of those players have an interest in helping us out and a lot of things have to fit together for that to happen. I could not say at this time, but we have to look at all options.”
As bad runs of injuries go, Harte is reminded of 2006 when Tyrone had a handful of players sitting in the stand for their Ulster opener against Derry.
“It will test the strength in depth of the squad. Since they’ll all be on one side of the field (they’re all forwards), it’s going to prove problematic. Good forwards don’t grow on trees and it takes a long time to mature them.”
Despite Cavanagh’s injury, Harte had no issue with the staging of Sunday’s club fixtures.
“Club action has to go on. We can’t hold back loads of players from playing Gaelic games because we have a squad who want to play county football. It is a problem, no doubt about it, and it creates problems for us. It’s a gamble you have to take.”