Cavanagh has suffered an injury similar to that which kept him out of action for six months in the latter part of last year, a detached shoulder tendon.
“Unfortunately the latest 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 injury again,” said manager Mickey Harte after hearing the results of a scan Cavanagh underwent earlier in the day.
“We’re really disappointed for him, we’re all devastated, but that’s where it’s at, and we have to live with that.”
And Harte revealed he has been in touch with one of the players who retired prior to the beginning of this season with a view to stepping back in to address a crisis which has seen four attackers ruled out by injury.
He refused to identify the player in question, but confirmed it is not Brian Dooher, who is currently injured.
“There’s nothing confirmed yet, but certainly it’s not out of the question,” he said.
“There has been some contact made, but there’s nothing to be announced just yet. It is a possibility. It will depend really on the person involved, whether they commit to it or not.”
Harte added: “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.”
Harte added that the injury crisis offers an opportunity to other players to challenge for a place in the team to face Armagh on Sunday week.
“It’s four quality players who are not there that we had at the start of the season, and that’s bound to take its toll. But, then again, it’s a challenge to everybody else that’s there to say there’s an opportunity there that may not have been there. So now, who’s going to seize it?
“So that will hopefully open up the challenge for players who would have been having to fight much harder to fight to get into the starting frame before this. It pushed them a little bit nearer to the starting line.”