The Waterford hurlers have been dealt a substantial blow ahead of the championship,.
They have been told that powerful forward Tom Devine is to go travelling and will miss the summer’s hurling.
Devine, a medical student, informed management of his decision over the weekend and will be unavailable for the Deise’s Munster SHC opener against the winners of Tipperary and Cork and subsequent games.
The big man from Modeligo impressed in Waterford’s run to the league quarter-final with his ability to win possession and score crucial goals, few more significant than his match-winning turn against Clare in Cusack Park.
Waterford have a ready-made replacement in Maurice Shanahan, another physically imposing forward, but Devine’s departure is a headache that manager Derek McGrath and his selectors could well do without with summer fast approaching.