Lacey facing battle to maintain nine-year run
KARL Lacey seems set to miss Donegal's Ulster SFC semi-final against Down through injury.
The 2012 Footballer of the Year (right) underwent surgery on a knee cartilage injury on Thursday and has only just returned after spending seven months sidelined due to a hip injury.
He played the final 28 minutes of Donegal's quarter-final win against Tyrone, but now looks likely to miss their date with Down.
Lacey hasn't missed a championship match in nine years, his record of 41 consecutive appearances stretching back to the Ulster final of 2004.
Lacey picked up the injury in the early stages of Four Masters' Donegal SFC game in Ardara last Sunday and the four-time All Star did not play for his club yesterday.
"At this stage he is doubtful," Rory Gallagher, the Donegal assistant manager, confirmed.
Lacey is to meet with surgeon Ray Moran later this week and, while he is expected to train by the weekend, it is thought to be unlikely that the Donegal town man will line out at Breffni Park on June 23.
Another man in an anxious fitness race is Neil Gallagher. The midfielder was taken off at half-time during Glenswilly's Donegal SFC meeting with Bundoran on Saturday night and will have a scan tomorrow on a knee injury.
While Anthony Thompson returned to action yesterday with his club Naomh Conaill, Frank McGlynn also continues to sit out with a hamstring ailment and he, too, is fighting a fitness race for Tir Chonaill's meeting with Down.