Royals dealt Ward injury blow
Midfielder Mark Ward could miss the start of Meath's O'Byrne Cup campaign after cracking his sternum while on club duty for Navan O'Mahonys last weekend.
Ward was in league action against Walterstown when he was forced from the field.
He joins shoulder injury victim Ciaran Lenehan on the Meath treatment table -- the defender picked up a knock while playing for Skryne.
"We hope Mark will be ready to come back in early January, but it's disappointing for him as he will miss the league final with his club now," said Royals manager Seamus McEnaney.
"We're not sure how long Ciaran will be out for -- he's going for an MRI this weekend and we'll know more then."
McEnaney also confirmed that Skryne native and athletics coach Sean Cahill will form part of his back-room team for 2012.
Cahill is best known for coaching Derval O'Rourke with his wife Terri and is a former Irish record holder in the 110m hurdles.
Elsewhere, James Stephens have confirmed that their county final hero Eoin Larkin will be the 2012 Kilkenny captain.
Ahead of their Leinster quarter-final with Wexford champions Oulart-The Ballagh Larkin is the choice of his club to be the bookies' favourite to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
The last time James Stephens had the honour of nominating a captain Jackie Tyrrell was put forward for the 2006 campaign when Kilkenny reclaimed the title.