Kingdom star Moran's season over after cruciate tear
Kerry midfielder David Moran's season is over after he was diagnosed with a cruciate ligament tear yesterday.
And in a separate development, Kildare veteran Dermot Earley may have suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from a similar injury.
Moran limped out of Kerry's Allianz League win over Monaghan in Inniskeen on Sunday after twisting his knee awkwardly in the 52nd minute.
He stayed overnight in Dublin and paid an early visit to the Santry Clinic in Dublin, where specialist Ray Moran delivered the diagnosis.
It is a bad blow to Kerry and a bad blow to a player who had really been finding his form in the league.
Confirming the news, Kerry manager Jack O'Connor described the latest cruciate ligament injury to befall an inter-county player as "cruel."
O'Connor had watched Moran develop over the last two months with high-class performances against Dublin, Galway and Armagh.
"It's particularly cruel for him because he was just coming into form," said O'Connor.
Moran has struggled to live up to a rich billing in the three years that he has been involved with the Kerry senior team but this season there was real progress. He now faces a long rehabilitative process and won't play any further inter-county football in 2011.
For Kerry it limits the options in an area where they have been struggling. Seamus Scanlon and Anthony Maher are now the likely midfield partnership, with Micheal Quirke yet to return to the squad.
Inevitably, Moran's absence will spark speculation about Kieran Donaghy moving out to midfield once more.
Meanwhile, Earley is understood to have jarred his knee in recent days, prompting fears that he has suffered a significant setback.
The Kildare midfielder underwent surgery last autumn to repair three separate problems in his troublesome knee, including corrective work on damaged cruciate and medial ligaments.
He has been out of action since his knee collapsed beneath him in the early stages of the All-Ireland quarter-final against Meath.
Earley was due to start running again this weekend but the setback has apparently left him sore. He is due to have another consultation with his surgeon in a couple of weeks, but an expectation that he would be back before July now looks most unlikely.