Clare centre-forward Tony Kelly looks set to miss two months of action after suffering ankle ligament damage in training.
The 2013 Hurler of the Year played in the Banner's Munster senior hurling league final victory over Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds, but has been hit with an unwelcome setback.
The news compounds All-Ireland-winning captain Pat Donnellan's torn cruciate ligament that rules him out of Davy Fitzgerald's immediate plans.
The defender broke down during a challenge match last month. Fitzgerald's men begin their Allianz League Division 1B campaign against Offaly at Cusack Park on 14 February.
They kick off their championship with a Munster semi-final showdown with Waterford in June.