Donegal are this week preparing for their opening Allianz League Division Two fixture against Laois at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise on Sunday.
Manager Jim McGuinness will have to plan without Eamon McGee, who is suspended following his red card against Mayo in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final.
The Gaoth Dobhair defender will also be sidelined for Donegal’s second match in the series away to Galway on Sunday, February 9.
Paddy McGrath is not expected to play in Laois as he continues to recover from a Gilmore’s groin operation.
Karl Lacey, who is starting a MSc in Sports Performance at University of Limerick today with Donegal goalkeeper Michael Boyle and 2012 All-Ireland wining panellist Peter Witherow, may revert to the full-back line alongside Neil McGee.
Declan Walsh or Eamon Doherty are the candidates for the other corner-back berth.
Mark and Ryan McHugh will return to the panel after representing IT Sligo in the FBD League in Connacht, while Martin McElhinney (Queen’s) and Luke Keaney (UUJ) also represented their colleges in the McKenna Cup.
Neil Gallagher (knee), David Walsh (hernia) and Christy Toye (virus) all returned from injury this month in the Dr McKenna Cup, while Patrick McBrearty played for the first time since his groin operation the weekend before last for Donegal’s U-21s in a drawn challenge match against Galway.
Rory Kavanagh and his wife Kathryn celebrated the birth of their first child - baby daughter Zoe - on Saturday.
New Laois manager Tomas O’Flatharta will be without the injured Ross Munnelly, Colm Begley and Kevin Meaney.