Dermot Earley's inter-county football career is hanging in the balance once more as he recovers from a back operation, WRITES COLM KEYS.
Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney delivered a bleak prognosis for Earley's future with the county after yesterday's league semi-final defeat to Tyrone, admitting that his priorities are to regain proper mobility again after last week's surgery.
Earley has struggled for the last three years with cruciate ligament trouble and has already declared that this season will be his last.
Earley injured his back in the warm-up prior to Kildare's last league game in Croke Park against Dublin in early March.
"Dermot's under a lot of pressure. He had an operation last week and it remains to be seen if it's successful," said McGeeney.
"His thoughts are probably to do more with walking again. He's struggling with a lot of pain."
Earley has not started a championship match for Kildare since the 2010 All-Ireland quarter-final against Meath.