GALWAY boss John McIntyre fears that ace forward Joe Canning is facing a race against time to make the opening round NHL clash with Wexford on February 13.
McIntyre has a host of players on the injury list and he is hugely concerned that they have been joined on the treatment table by the talismanic full-forward.
"Joe has a heel pad injury at the moment and it will be touch and go as to whether he will be able to play against Wexford," explained McIntyre, whose charges face Dublin in the Walsh Cup semi-final at Parnell Park on Saturday.
Last year's captain, Shane Kavanagh, Damien Hayes, Aidan Harte, Kevin Hynes, Fergal Moore, Damien Joyce, Joe Gantley, Aonghus Callanan, David Hayes and Niall Healy could be ruled out of the clash with Anthony Daly's charges.
And McIntyre's options have been additionally reduced after panel newcomer Niall O'Donogue was forced off just before half-time in last week's win over DIT.
On the positive side, the Galway manager is hopeful that defender Fergal Moore will be in contention for a place on the panel for the opening league fixture.
Moore was sidelined for seven months last year with a variety of hamstring problems.