Kerry suffer Crowley injury blow as Flynn bids farewell to the Blues
Kerry defender Peter Crowley will miss the rest of the season after being diagnosed with a cruciate ligament tear.
Crowley sustained the injury while playing for his club Laune Rangers in their IFC relegation semi-final win over Castleisland Desmonds over the weekend, and while there were initial hopes that he might have avoided the worst a scan subsequently revealed the extent of the damage.
Crowley is a key presence in the Kerry defence and is renowned for his toughness, which has become even more important with the emergence of so much younger talent. He was the only defender to feature in all of Kerry's eight league games this season.
While manager Peter Keane has plenty of options - from Brian Ó Beaglaoích to Shane Enright - few fit the profile of Crowley.
With a knee injury likely to keep David Moran on the sidelines for some time yet, Kerry will be increasingly light on experience this summer, especially after the departure of four long-serving players last autumn.
News of Crowley's misfortune came on the same day that Dublin's Paul Flynn bowed out of inter-county football in the middle of his 12th season.
Flynn said he had arrived at the decision because he was struggling to maintain the standards required for football at this level due to recent injuries.
The 32-year-old won six All-Ireland medals with Dublin and is the only non-Kerry footballer to be awarded four successive All-Stars, a measure of his consistency between 2011 and 2014. As Flynn departs there is renewed speculation about Diarmuid Connolly's return as the All-Ireland champions resume training this week ahead of a potentially momentous championship.
In a week of movement - Rory O'Carroll returned to the squad after a three-year absence - this is considered the most likely window of opportunity if the St Vincent's man, who left the squad in the spring of 2018, is to return.