Cork's Munster semi-final hero Mark Keane has been ruled out of action for up to two months, having undergone surgery on a finger tendon injury.
Keane scored the last-minute goal that knocked Kerry out of this year's championship, having been granted leave by his AFL club Collingwood to play in the fixture.
The Mitchelstown man has since returned to training with his club and was gearing up for the start of the AFL season in March. But he now faces a race against time to make that opener against Western Bulldogs after the club ruled him out for up to two months.
Collingwood announced this morning that Keane had undergone finger tendon surgery at the weekend.
They said: "Wishing Mark Keane a speedy recovery after having finger tendon surgery over the weekend. To be sidelined for 1-2 months."
Keane made his AFL debut against Fremantle last year. And speaking to the Irish Examiner last week, hehad underlined his determination to make an impact during the pre-season, though acknowledged injuries can derail best-laid plans.
“Preseason is a hectic part of the year. I suppose last year showed anything can change. Injuries, the season could be called off, we could head way in hubs again. I have to think short-term. Starting tomorrow. Right now, I am hoping to have a really good training session tomorrow. A short-term goal is to play both pre-season games.
“My target then this year is to play in round 1. I remember at the end of the year I was talking to Nathan Buckley and he said I was very close to playing the semi-final against Geelong. The goal is definitely have a good preseason and hopefully play Round 1 against Western Bulldogs on March 19."