Talented young Waterford forward Martin O'Neill will shortly undergo surgery on the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered in last weekend's All-Ireland SHC quarter-final loss to Kilkenny.
O'Neill, who made his Championship bow with the Déise last summer, came on for Maurice Shanahan during the Kilkenny game but ruptured his cruciate ligament and lasted only three minutes on the pitch.
The Mount Sion clubman is set to have surgery in three weeks' time and will hope to return for the Allianz League next spring.
Waterford manager Michael Ryan told the Irish Independent: "He's very disappointed. It was the first ball he went for. He'll have an operation in a few weeks' time and Martin is devastated because he's missing the club Championship as well."
A bad run of luck with injuries saw Ryan missing the likes of Stephen Daniels, Brian O'Halloran, Pauric Mahony and Gavin O'Brien for the extra-time defeat to the Cats, with Shane Walsh managing to play against Kilkenny despite struggling recently with a hamstring problem.
Ryan, who is keen to remain in charge for a third year, added: "I'm so proud of all of those guys, the way they played, and it was a tremendously enjoyable year. Everybody worked so hard and great credit is due to them.
"We lost good players through injury – five of the starting line-up from the Clare game in the National League.
"Shane Walsh deserves great credit, in fairness. He played against Kilkenny even though he wasn't fully recovered. He went in and battled away like a man."