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Kilkenny sweat on King Henry

HENRY SHEFFLIN has undergone a scan on the ankle injury which forced him out of Ballyhale Shamrock's Leinster Club hurling semi-final defeat to Oulart-The Ballagh on Saturday amidst fears that he has suffered another serious and potentially long-term injury.

Shefflin limped off during the first half of Oulart's one-point win in Wexford Park and immediately speculation mounted that he had broken a bone around the joint.

However, there is also the possibility that hurling's most decorated star has sustained ligament damage, a development which could yet have repercussions for his involvement with Kilkenny in the New Year.

The 11-time All Star has yet to commit to the Cats' newest quest for a Liam MacCarthy 'three peat' in 2013, instead choosing to concentrate on Ballyhale's bid to reclaim the All-Ireland club title they last secured in 2010 but was expected to inform Brian Cody that he will be back for another season once their campaign concluded.

Shefflin has fought back from serious knee and shoulder injuries over the past couple of years to maintain his amazing record of never missing a single Championship match under Brian Cody and insisted he would, if fit, consider the possibility of sitting out some or all of Kilkenny's League campaign in order to be fit for summer.

His injury - coming in the 23rd minute of Saturday's breathless battle - had a massive bearing on Ballyhale's defeat, having squandered an early 1-3 to 0-0 lead and a three-point half-time advantage to lose by 1-11 to 1-10, with James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick missing two frees and a '65' which Shefflin would surely have converted. The Wexford Champions now play Offaly's Kilcormac-Killoughey in next Sunday's decider in Nowlan Park.