Kerryman Tadhg Kennelly was a notable omission from the 27-man Ireland squad which manager Pete McGrath named today for this month's International Rules series in Australia.
The 24-year-old, who became the first Irishman to win an Aussie Rules Premierhip title with the Sydney Swans a fortnight ago, had been reportedly full fit after a long season Down Under.
However, it has emerged that the former Kerry minor and Under-21 starlet, who played for Ireland in the 2001, 2002 and 2004 Rules series, picked up an ankle injury in the Swans' final victory over West Coast and he is to miss out.
Kennelly's withdrawal is seen as a serious blow to the men in green's hopes of retaining the Cormac McAnallen Cup over two Test matches in Perth (October 21) and Melbourne (October 28).
"The news came as a bolt out of the blue to me," explained Irish boss McGrath.
"I had no idea that anything like this was in prospect. But apparently Tadhg damaged his ankle and so there is no way that he could play in the International Rules games.
"I'm not sure of the exact nature of Tadhg's injury, but I believe that he may have chipped a bone.
In those circumstances, Sydney would not allow him to play in the series, as they want Tadhg to have sufficiently recovered to take part in the pre-season training for the forthcoming Premiership campaign," added the former Down supremo.