Tyrone captain Mattie Donnelly is set to miss the entire National Football League through a tendon injury sustained in an Ulster Club Championship quarter-final.
Donnelly is to undergo surgery on a serious tendon injury which is set to keep him out for six months.
The dual All-Star got injured in a club game for Trillick against Derrygonnelly at Brewster Park. Donnelly's club was knocked out on penalties.
“Unfortunately, it's a bad injury,” Mattie Donnelly told the Irish News.
“I got the results of the scan there last week and it has revealed that one of the tendons of the bone on the hamstring has become detached.
"The only way around it is surgical intervention. I'm in good hands with Tyrone with Louis O'Connor and now Johnny Davis on board, so I have the best of the best looking after me.”
“So I have a few months of rehab ahead of me,” Donnelly added.
“It's the best of a bad bunch. There is never a good time to get injured, but this is probably the pick of the season when there is not much happening in the winter months.
“I will put the head down and be diligent with the rehab as I'm at that age now. With Tyrone panels, you need to be coming back in good shape.”
The six-month timeline rules the Tyrone captain out of the National League campaign entirely. Mattie Donnelly has been a crucial player for Mickey Harte since replacing Sean Cavanagh as skipper in 2017.
The first major game Donnelly will watch from the sidelines is the return of Meath to the top table of the Allianz National Football League. Tyrone host the Royals in the opening round on the first weekend in February.
The Tyrone captain will be anxious to return for the Ulster Championship. Tyrone are part of the standout tie in the opening round as they face Donegal in Ballybofey.