Big blow for Monaghan as Conor McManus faces eight-week injury lay-off
Monaghan's All Star forward Conor McManus could be out for six to eight weeks because of the extent of ankle ligament damage sustained in a club match over the weekend.
McManus, who had only lifted the Division 2 League Cup five days earlier as Monaghan captain, turned awkwardly while playing for Clontibret against Magheracloone in a league match last Friday night.
A scan in the Santry Sports Clinic early on Sunday gave an initial assessment of his ankle and knee, which also sustained significant damage.
However, McManus said yesterday that the scans appeared to establish that he had not sustained a cruciate ligament tear, which would have ended his season.
He will have a further consultation with a specialist later this week but is hopeful of resuming with Monaghan later in the summer. However, their quarter-final against Tyrone or Down on June 15, less than six weeks away now, may come too soon.
"The initial results weren't great but I am probably looking at something like six to eight weeks.
"It's ankle ligaments, the problem area is the top of the ankle coming into the bottom of the leg. There was no fracture in it," he said.
"There is ligament damage in the knee as well but the extent of that hasn't been determined. I don't think it is cruciate so that gives me some hope.
"The way I fell the knee and the ankle gathered up underneath me. The ankle went one way and the knee went the other. An opponent came down on top of me and that compounded it even more."
McManus has been in superb form for the Farney men over the last two seasons and his influence against Donegal was quite profound with his score, just after Donegal's penalty to draw level in the second half, giving his team real impetus to go on and pick up a third trophy in a little more than 12 months.
If it is Tyrone that they meet in the Ulster quarter-final (Tyrone have to play Down in the preliminary round on May 18) Monaghan have not beaten them in the championship since the 1988 Ulster final and have lost all four meetings since, including the 2007 and 2010 Ulster finals and last year's All-Ireland quarter-final.
Monaghan's Owen Lennon is also recovering from ankle ligaments he damaged at the start of the second half against Donegal.