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Henry Shefflin in fresh injury blow

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Henry Shefflin

Henry Shefflin

Henry Shefflin

HENRY SHEFFLIN is set to be ruled out of Kilkenny's Leinster championship opener against Offaly on June 9 after suffering another setback in his bid to recover from a foot injury.

A damaged metatarsal, which he picked up in training, has left the Ballyhale Shamrocks clubman wearing a protective boot on his left foot.

The current Hurler of the Year had resumed light training after recovering from the previous foot injury that has kept him out since December.

"(Playing against Offaly) is not very likely at the moment," conceded the nine-time All-Ireland winner. "I was back doing a bit of training for the last couple of weeks since I got the pins out.

"And, over the weekend, it reacted a small bit. I was in to see the surgeon on Tuesday and that's why I'm back in the boot today. I have a bit of a stress fracture in my foot. It's not the original injury."

Record

Shefflin has started every championship game since Brian Cody took charge for the 1999 campaign – a record that stretches to 62 matches – but this latest injury blow is likely to break that sequence. In addition to his injury, the Kilkenny legend has also had to overcome a bout of pneumonia at the beginning of the year.

"Basically I was back from the injury and I'd just picked up a cold," he explained. "I think it was after the operation maybe, just the body was a bit weak and picked up a cold and it turned into pneumonia. So I was in hospital then for a few days. It's been interesting ... I think my body was just telling me it wanted a bit of a break."

The succession of setbacks means that he could have to wait until the Leinster final to play his first match of the year. Even if the Cats progress past Offaly, Shefflin admits he could also miss the Leinster semi-final clash with either Wexford or Dublin on June 23 in a championship campaign that sees him go in search of a history-making 10th All-Ireland medal.

"It's going to be very much 'wait and see' and, once I get back, I have to be careful again and just build it up right. It's a positive that it's not the original injury, which is a serious injury. That's the positive I can take out of it – this is just a by-product of it."

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