Lar Corbett was last night brought to hospital after suffering broken ribs in Nowlan Park yesterday.
The 2010 hurler of the year was admitted in Clonmel as a precaution to assess the possibility of kidney damage. However, it is understood Corbett has at least two fractured ribs and incurred heavy bruising.
Corbett and JJ Delaney were issued with straight red cards in the 43th minute after becoming entangled in an off-the-ball wrestle.
With one-match bans anticipated, both are set to miss their counties’ opening provincial games, Kilkenny facing Offaly in a Leinster quarter-final on June 9 the same afternoon Tipperary face Limerick in a Munster semi-final.
It is uncertain whether the counties will yet argue against Barry Kelly’s decisions but even if Tipperary were successful Corbett would face a race to be fit for the Gaelic Grounds game next month.
TV footage last night on RTÉ’s League Sunday showed Delaney clearly striking Corbett’s helmet with his hand.
However, what was broadcast was only part of the incident, which had begun moments earlier as the pair jostled with their hurleys.
As Corbett and Delaney grappled on the ground, Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy also became involved. But it is unclear when Corbett suffered the injury.
Selector Michael Dempsey admitted Delaney will be missed when Kilkenny face Offaly in Tullamore.
“JJ [Delaney] is a huge loss – I thought he was majestic today while he was on the pitch. I didn’t see the incident but he’s a huge loss. We’ll just have to get on with it.”
Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea also didn’t witness what happened but was keen not to criticise Kelly’s officiating.
“I didn’t actually see it. I mean, two players were grappling on the ground. I couldn’t see what happened.
“Sometimes a referee sends players off, sometimes he doesn’t. I have absolutely no problem with the referee.”
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