KILDARE have suffered a cruel injury blow ahead of Sunday's Croke Park showdown with Dublin after Ollie Lyons was ruled out of the Leinster SFC semi-final with a broken collarbone.
The jet-heeled defender was forced off during a challenge match against Kerry last Saturday, robbing manager Kieran McGeeney of a potentially key piece of the jigsaw in his plan to stifle Dublin's vaunted attack.
Lyons made his championship debut against Dublin in 2011 and has regularly picked up Bernard Brogan when the teams have played since.
He was not named on the Kildare team for their Leinster opener against Offaly but was a late addition to the team after Eoin Doyle was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Doyle has recovered from that injury but remains doubtful because of a fresh hamstring setback. The Herald was told he has a "slim chance" but is not "completely ruled out".
Dublin, meanwhile, are without long-term injury absentee Alan Brogan. But Kevin McManamon is back in the frame after recovering from the hamstring injury which ruled him out of Dublin's big win over Westmeath in the quarter-final.
Elsewhere, Tyrone are sweating on the fitness of Joe McMahon (ankle), Stephen O'Neill (Achilles) and Justin McMahon (hamstring) ahead of Saturday's qualifier trip to Offaly.
The elder McMahon, Joe, is rated the most doubtful but former Footballer of the Year O'Neill is also a major concern, much to the frustration of manager Mickey Harte, who described O'Neill's run of misfortune since missing the league final through a freak 11th-hour ankle injury as "criminal".
Elsewhere, Michael Meehan is a muscle injury doubt for Galway's home qualifier with Tipperary.
TIPPERARY (MH v Limerick): B Hogan; R Mulcahy, J Ryan, D Peters; T Fox, R Maher, B Heffernan; W Connors, T Kirwan; S Ryan, C O'Riordan, M McCarthy; S Conlon, J Keane, C Lanigan.