BRIAN CODY has been dealt a major blow with Young Hurler of the Year Adrian Mullen ruled out for the rest of the season having suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The Kilkenny attacker was stretchered off in the first half of Sunday's draw with Clare in Nowlan Park and Cody's worst fears were confirmed this morning after an MRI scan Mullen confirmed the injury.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks forward had an outstanding debut season with the Cats and having won back-to-back All-Ireland club SHC titles last month, the 20-year-old was expected to be a big weapon in attack once again this year.
Mullen faces at least nine months on the sidelines, however, and will play no part with Cody's squad while he is also likely to miss his club's defence of the Kilkenny SHC title with a long recovery ahead.
Elsewhere, Tyrone's footballers were also dealt a hammer blow with ace attacker Cathal McShane facing five months on the sidelines having dislocated his ankle in their Division 1 defeat to Galway last Sunday.