Tipp setback as finger injury rules Callanan out of opener
Ace forward Seamus Callanan is in danger of missing Tipperary's first two Allianz NHL Division 1A fixtures of the season.
The Drom & Inch hitman, who bagged 5-20 in last year's Championship to earn a Hurler of the Year nomination, is reportedly nursing a finger fracture and could be ruled out of not only next Saturday's opener against Dublin at Semple Stadium, but also the visit to Kilkenny on February 21.
Manager Michael Ryan is also monitoring the fitness of other players, including Niall O'Meara and Sean Curran, who have been carrying hamstring injuries in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Peter Acheson has been confirmed as Tipperary's football captain for the season.
The 25-year-old from Moyle Rovers has been in superb form in Tipp's first two Division 3 fixtures, netting against Limerick before setting up the match-winning goal for Brian Fox in the Clare tussle last Sunday.
And Acheson insists that Tipp can make an impact in the League despite losing Colin O'Riordan to an AFL rookie contract, and dual players Steven O'Brien and Seamus Kennedy to the hurlers.
Acheson hasn't ruled out the prospect of O'Brien and Kennedy, who's involved with Clonmel Commercials in Saturday's All-Ireland club semi-final, making a possible football comeback later this year.
He said: "Liam (Kearns) has said already that the door is open for the two lads. We with them the very best, they're mad hurlers, we respect their decisions and hopefully it goes well for them but we'd gladly take them back."
The depth of the Tipp football squad inherited by manager Kearns has been tested in the early stages of the 2016 campaign but Acheson insists that the Premier County can survive.
"We'll be getting a few Commercials players back after the semi-final, or hopefully the final," he said. "Lads are stepping up to the plate."