Donegal’s may be without All-Star defender Karl Lacey for their Ulster semi-final meeting with Down.
The 2012 Footballer of the Year underwent knee surgery on Thursday. And while the surgery is believed to have been minor, a Democrat source close to the player has admitted that the four times All-Star has a race on his hands to be fit for the last four clash with the Mourne County.
Timescales of between ten days and four weeks have been mentioned as possible return dates.
Donegal’s Ulster semi-final meeting with Down, a repeat of last year’s Ulster final is on June 23rd, just over two weeks away.
The Four Masters star had his first outing for Donegal since last September’s All-Ireland final when he came on in last month’s quarter-final victory over Tyrone.
He had missed Donegal’s entire Allianz League and Dr. McKenna Cup campaign after undergoing an extensive 12 week rehabilitation following a hip operation before Christmas.
It is understood that the return went well and that the knee injury only surfaced since the Tyrone game. He played last Sunday for Four Masters in their first round championship win over Ardara.
However, he is set to miss the club’s second round championship meeting with Sean MacCumhaill’s in Tirchonaill Park, tomorrow (Sunday).
The injury and surgery is a setback, but it will come as a welcome relief to Donegal manager Jim McGuinness and Donegal supporters that it is not a recurrence of the old hip injury.
Neither Jim McGuinness nor his number two Rory Gallagher were available for comment yesterday on the Lacey injury or the likely timescale for the players return.
Donegal return to training in earnest on Tuesday night, having just trained once a week in their victory over Tyrone. Jim McGuinness had allowed the players back to train with and play championship football with their clubs.
The management will be keeping a close eye on the club championship tomorrow hoping that no other injuries are sustained as there are also doubts over the participation of Frank McGlynn (hamstring) and David Walsh (hip) for the clash with Down
Meanwhile, it is also learned that Dungloe’s Adrian Hanlon has withdrawn from the squad.