The Drom & Inch hitman, who bagged 5-20 in last year’s championship to earn a Hurler of the Year nomination, is reportedly nursing a finger fracture and could be ruled out of not only Saturday’s opener against Dublin at Semple Stadium, but also the visit to Kilkenny on February 21.
Manager Michael Ryan is also monitoring the fitness of a number of other players including Niall O’Meara and Sean Curran, who have been carrying hamstring injuries in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Peter Acheson has been confirmed as Tipperary’s senior football captain for the 2016 campaign. Acheson, 25, follows in the footsteps of Moyle Rovers clubmates Liam Cronin, Declan Browne, and Aidan Foley after taking over from Paddy Codd.
Acheson has been in superb form in Tipp’s first two Division 3 fixtures, netting against Limerick before setting up the winning goal for Brian Fox in the Clare tussle on Sunday. And Acheson insists Tipp can make an impact in Division 3, despite losing Colin O’Riordan to an AFL rookie contract with the Sydney Swans – and dual players Steven O’Brien and Seamus Kennedy to the hurlers.
Acheson hasn’t ruled out the prospect of O’Brien and Kennedy, who’s involved with Clonmel Commercials in Saturday’s All-Ireland Club semi-final, making a possible football comeback.
He said: “Liam (Kearns) has said already the door is open for the two lads. We wish them the very best, they’re mad hurlers, we respect their decisions and hopefully it goes well for them but the door is always open.”