ALAN Brogan looks set to miss the Dubs' upcoming All-Ireland SFC quarter-final over the August Bank Holiday weekend as he has reportedly tweaked his hamstring.
The 2011 Footballer of the Year has not featured for the Leinster champions since coming on as a substitute in their All-Ireland semi-final loss to Mayo last September.
He also missed the start of the current season after undergoing an operation on a long-term osteitis pubis injury, and has remained sidelined for the Allianz League and Leinster championship.
It had been expected that Brogan could return for the recent Leinster final win over Meath, while the Brogan camp was confident that he might feature in All-Ireland quarter-final.
Bernard Brogan spoke only last week about the expected return of the talented forward. "Alan will be back the next day so we will be alright. He's flying. He played with the club last week, 70 minutes, so he will be knocking on the door the next day," he said.
"It'll give us that extra dimension that defences will have to try to stop. He runs all day and he's able to pick those passes, and get inside the defence and take a score as well".
However, the latest injury is a blow for the player who has battled so hard to regain his fitness. Bernard summed up what his brother had endured, in the Irish Independent last week. "It's been difficult for Alan. He's getting older and has shown great determination to get back.
"A lot of other people probably would have thrown their hat at it, saying '10 months and I am not right', but he stuck at it and wants to be there, which is great for us to see that he still has the appetite for it.
"It has been hugely frustrating but he is at the end of it, has come out the other side of it, and he will be full of exuberance, full of energy coming into this team," he said.
The timing of this latest injury is a particularly cruel blow for the forward, although if as initial reports suggest that it is just a hamstring tweak, then his recovery time may be short.
Alan's good friend and former club and county team-mate, Jason Sherlock, tweeted: "It's very disappointing for Alan. It's up to the lads to make sure he has a semi-final to look forward to.
"I watched the Dubs play a match last week and Alan was moving well. He tweaked his hammer on Monday, nothing to do with his long-term injury."