WATERFORD hurling ace Stephen Molumphy says he hopes being ruled out of this year's entire campaign won't lead to the end of his glittering inter-county career.
Because of an imminent six-months overseas tour of duty with the Irish army, Molumphy will be unavailable for selection for the 2013 league and championship programmes.
But he is keeping his fingers crossed that he will force his way back into selection consideration for the Deise outfit in 12 months' time.
"Hopefully, I'll get a chance to play with Waterford again in 2014, and it would be disappointing if 2012 was my last year in inter-county hurling," said Molumphy, who has been a regular on his county's side since making his debut in 2006.
"I still feel I have something to contribute and I won't be 30 until next January. But, of course, you can never take anything for granted in this regard.
"I'll be out of inter-county hurling for all of this year, and in 12 months' time the (Waterford) manager might well decide that he was happy enough with all the players who had been part of his panel in 2013.
"Obviously in that scenario there would be no place for me in the panel for 2014. So I'll just have to hope for the best regarding my hurling future," added the former Waterford captain.
As yet, the Ballyduff Upper clubman doesn't know where or when he will be departing on his latest tour of army duty.
But regardless of his destination and time-frame, 2007 All Star Molumphy will be doing his utmost to retain as much of his hurling sharpness as possible during his stay out of the country.
"I expect to find out in the next few weeks when and where we will be going to, and I'll definitely bring four or five hurleys with me," said Molumphy, who previously served on army duty in Germany in 2007 and in Chad from September 2009 to February 2010.