Kilkenny have been dealt a huge blow before their championship campaign gets underway with an injury setback to their defence.
The Hogan Stand have reported that Padraig Walsh is set for a two-month stint on the sidelines after sustaining a fracture in his right heel playing for his club.
This will force the Tullaroan defender out of the Cat’s championship opener, a Leinster semi-final on June 10th.
News of Walsh’s injury has been confirmed today, according to The Kilkenny People. Complaining of a pain in his heel during a club challenge game a fortnight ago, the 25-year-old was thought to have shaken off the knock. That was until the second half of the opening round of his club’s intermediate hurling league game last weekend.
Walsh had lined out in a centre forward role and notched 1-1 up until he was seen limping around the field, clearly restricted by the heel problem. After seeing a specialist on Tuesday, a fracture was confirmed.
The All-Star wing back has been an integral part of Brian Cody’s defence the past few seasons. Employed at half back, falling straight into the void left by his older brother, Tommy, Padraig has been performing at a consistently top level in black and amber since 2012.
Tried out at full back in this spring’s National Hurling League, Walsh made the position his own when Kilkenny were crying out for a new full back. He will be sorely missed until his return to fitness.
With the casualty ward growing busier and busier for Cody, and no timeline on midfield powerhouse Michael Fennelly’s return from his ruptured achilles tendon, he could do with no further setbacks disrupting his preparations for the upcoming championship.