Double injury blow for Kilkenny
Brian Cody has been hit with a double blow ahead of next month's Leinster SHC as Cillian Buckley and James Maher are unlikely to play any part for Kilkenny in the round-robin series.
Buckley sat out this year's league campaign and hasn't featured for the Cats since last year's All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Limerick due to a persistent knee injury.
The Dicksboro defender rested the injury over the winter, but having failed to respond positively to an extended period of inactivity, he went under the knife two months ago.
Cody revealed in February that there was "no time-frame" on a return for last year's skipper following the surgery and it is understood that he has been unable to take any active part in Kilkenny training. There are serious worries that it could keep the 26-year-old out for the season, or longer, while the news is not good for Maher either with the midfielder breaking his leg.
The St Lachtain's ace is believed to have suffered the horrific injury in club training on Tuesday night.