According to a report in Thursday's Kerry's Eye, the county's exciting young forward David Clifford will be missing for at least part of next year's league.
The corner forward, who in his first year out of minor was Kerry’s best player in this year’s championship and is a virtual certainty to win a first All Star next month.
A shoulder injury will require surgery as soon as this year’s county championship concludes. Clifford is part of the East Kerry team facing Dingle in a semi-final replay this weekend with 2017 All-Ireland champions Dr Crokes waiting in the final. He scored 2-5 in the drawn match having missed a penalty.
Clifford's absence will complicate problems for new county manager Peter Keane, who already has to cope with a number of retirements: Kieran Donaghy, Anthony Maher, Donnchadh Walsh and Darran O'Sullivan all lowered the curtain on their careers since the end of the summer.
Recuperation would typically take between 12-16 weeks; this would also rule Clifford out of Sigerson Cup action with IT Tralee. Kerry begin their 2019 league at home against Tyrone on Sunday January 27th, before a trip to play Cavan the following week. The glamour tie at the Austin Stack Park when All-Ireland champions Dublin come to Tralee takes place on February 9th.
County board sources said on Thursday evening that once the situation was confirmed, a statement would be released in due course.