Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke has confirmed that midfielder Niall Kearns will miss most of this year’s National League as he recovers from a heart operation.
The young midfielder capped off an amazing debut season with an All-Star nominee as the Farney men reached their first All-Ireland semi-final in 30 years.
However, Kearns will not be available for the foreseeable future after undergoing heart surgery back in October.
“Niall’s had a heart operation so he won’t be seen until at least the end of the league campaign,” said Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke.
“He has a fair recovery period ahead of him. He had a problem with his heart last year. Apparently it’s a problem he’s had since he was a young lad and it flared up a bit during the championship season.
“It was decided this was the time to get something done to hopefully prolong his career.”
Whilst it is unknown what exactly was wrong with Kearns, Malachy O’Rourke confirmed that the operation was serious enough in that Kearns will require some respite before returning the Farney fold.
“It was a fairly serious operation so he will need a fair bit of time to get himself back ready again,” O’Rourke said.
The Monaghan manager also confirmed that Scotstown’s Kieran Hughes will also miss a portion of their league campaign as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
“Kieran Hughes is still struggling with the hamstring and he’s definitely not going to be there for the start of the national league at least.” O’Rourke said.
“I don’t know how far into the league it will be before we see him. He’s been carrying that from the championship last year. He wasn’t able to train with us a lot of the time.
“He’s still not right and we’re trying to clear it up as best we can rather than doing something to make it worse.
“He’s in the best hands. The physios are top class and hopefully we’ll get him right rather than it lingering on and him not being at his best at any stage of the year.”
Monaghan will begin their Division One campaign in two weeks time when they welcome All-Ireland champions, Dublin to Clones.