Kerry defender Peter Crowley will play no part in the county’s championship plans after tearing his cruciate ligament.
The 28-year old suffered the season-ending knee injury while on club duty for Laune Rangers during their Kerry IFC relegation semi-final win over Castleisland Desmonds last Sunday.
The injury, arriving one month before Kerry’s Munster championship opener, leaves a sizeable hole in the Kingdom defence. Crowley was the sole member of the Kerry full-back line to start all eight of their Allianz league games.
Gavin White’s impending return does increase Peter Keane’s defensive options but Dr Crokes’ White has made his name as a half-back and it is the corner-back position which Crowley had so impressively occupied throughout the spring that now requires filling.
Former Kerry footballer Billy O’Shea told Radio Kerry the injury to Crowley is a “big blow to Kerry”.
“Peter Keane would have identified Peter [Crowley] as one of the senior leaders within the team. They had identified Peter in the number two role and wanted to build the defence around Peter. This injury comes at an awful time.”