Monaghan have been dealt a huge blow ahead of their Ulster Championship quarter-final against Cavan next month with the news that versatile veteran, Darren Hughes is out with a broken ankle.
Hughes suffered the injury while on club duty for Scotstown against Ballybay and it is thought that the midfielder will be out for 10-12 weeks meaning that he is likely to miss the semi-final meeting with Armagh or Down should Monaghan dispatch of their rivals.
Speaking to the Independent, Hughes confirmed that a subsequent scan revealed a fracture in his ankle and that the Cavan game is out of the question.
“I have to have a further scan that will assess damage done to ligaments. But I’m in a cast and the Cavan game will obviously come too soon,”
The news comes as a huge blow for Malachy O’Rourke and his Monaghan side as they look to regain the Ulster Championship they last won in 2015.
The Farney County have been red-hot favourites heading into the last two campaigns before falling to shocks defeats in the semi-finals to Down and Fermanagh respectively.
Monaghan qualified for a first All-Ireland semi-final in 30 years last season only to fall agonisingly short against Tyrone in Croke Park.
News of Hughes injury comes as a further blow to Monaghan given that they are currently short of options at midfield due to Niall Kearns currently being sidelined following heart surgery late last year.
Monaghan are set to open their Ulster Championship campaign against Cavan on Saturday, May 18th.