Henry Shefflin injury won't sidetrack Cats – Richie Hogan
Henry Shefflin looks set to start his drive for an unprecedented 10th All-Ireland medal on the sidelines because of injury, but team-mate Richie Hogan insists life must go on for Kilkenny in the absence of the Ballyhale maestro.
A stress fracture in his foot seems likely to rule the 35-year-old out of the Cats' opening tie against Offaly in Nowlan Park on June 9.
It's a bitter blow for Shefflin who returned to Kilkenny duty unusually early this year, featuring in the Walsh Cup for the first time since 2005 as he built up towards a record-breaking attempt.
But Hogan insists the Cats are already focused on facing Offaly without the nine-time All Star.
"You feel disappointed for Henry himself, but you don't really pay much attention to it, because you have to concentrate on yourself," Hogan said.
"I know Henry would be the same. There are other lads injured. Michael Rice has only played a handful of games in the last two years, so your heart goes out to the lads, but you have to just move on and get on with it."
The Danesfort man, who was named the Opel Player of the Month for April, along with Derry footballer Mark Lynch, after a terrific league campaign, expects Shefflin to make a typically quick recovery.
"I know he'll be disappointed, but I'm sure by now it is totally wiped from his mind. He's a very focused man and if there is a chance he'll be back for the (Offaly) game he definitely will be. If not, we'll be guaranteed at least one more game after that.
"It's the same injury he got last year, I think, so at least he isn't going in blind. He'll know that he has four weeks to get it right and he'll try his best."