Maher set to miss Munster opener after freak accident 'in back yard'
Last season's Young Hurler of the Year Brendan Maher has revealed how a freak accident at home is set to rule him out for the next three months.
Tipperary's dynamic midfielder broke his ankle pucking a ball around in his own back yard on Monday.
The 22-year-old All Star will visit a specialist this morning to determine the full extent of the damage, but early scans have confirmed a fracture.
He explained: "I just went over on it out in the yard pucking around. My foot got caught under me and I put all my weight down on it."
Maher, who won All-Ireland senior and U-21 medals last season, has been in superb form for Tipperary this season, despite a stuttering start to the 2011 campaign for the All-Ireland champions.
In Tipp's last outing, against Offaly in Nenagh 10 days ago, the Borrisoleigh ace scored four points from centrefield. Maher linked up brilliantly in the middle with Gearoid Ryan, who starred at wing-forward in last year's march to All-Ireland glory.
But Ryan could now be set for an extended run in midfield alongside Shane McGrath as Maher's setback looks set to rule him out of Tipp's Munster SHC quarter-final showdown with Cork on May 29.
Tipp boss Declan Ryan will announce his team for next Sunday's championship dress rehearsal after training tomorrow evening and McGrath, who was left out for the Offaly game, is set for a recall to the starting 15.
Seamus Hennessy is another option at midfield but he is ruled out after undergoing surgery to cure a knee cartilage complaint.
Hennessy is expected to be sidelined for another two months -- leaving him a major doubt for the championship opener at Semple Stadium.
McGrath and Ryan seem the obvious midfield pairing for that game.
Seamus Callanan is also working his way back to fitness after breaking a collarbone, and team captain Eoin Kelly will miss the next three weeks after he sustained a compound finger fracture against Offaly.