Darragh Fives is set to miss the opening rounds of Waterford's Allianz Hurling League campaign with a fresh quad muscle problem.
Key defender Fives was ruled out of the concluding stages of last year's championship with a similar issue and Déise selector Dan Shanahan has confirmed that they are planning without the Tourin clubman for the forthcoming Munster senior hurling league - and possibly the first two rounds of the Allianz League.
But Fives is Waterford's only long-term injury worry as they look ahead to next Sunday's Munster League opener against Limerick at Fraher Field.
"He should be ok for the second or third round of the League. Apart from that, we have a clean bill of health," Shanahan said. "Darragh's problem is not as bad as first feared and he's doing a bit of light running on the field. The physio will let us know when he's good to go."
Shanahan also confirmed that a knee injury sustained by promising young defender Micheál Harney will rule him out for the next six to eight weeks. Harney was drafted in to make up the numbers in a recent workout against Dublin but fell on his knee.
It had been feared that the Bunmahon man, who starred at wing-back for the All-Ireland winning U21s last year, had sustained cruciate ligament damage but scans have revealed no long term damage.