The Waterford footballers will start the 2012 Championship without the services of their talismanic captain Gary Hurney.
Hurney fractured his jaw in the closing stages of Ballinacourty's Waterford SFC second round win over St Saviour's at Walsh Park on Saturday.
He is facing a two-month lay-off which will keep him out of Waterford's Munster Championship opener against Limerick and May 20. He is unlikely to be fit for a possible semi-final against Clare on June 9.
It is a huge blow to the Déise's Championship campaign. The 31-year-old Hurney has been on the senior inter-county football scene since 1999 and was appointed captain by manager John Owens for this season.
Waterford's three-match run in last year's Championship was ended by Limerick in the third round of the All-Ireland qualifiers. Hurney scored 2-5 in those games against Cork, London and Limerick.