Kilkenny hurling star Henry Shefflin will face another winter of recovery after it was confirmed that he will undergo surgery on a broken bone in his left foot.
The Black and Amber's Hurler of the Year picked up the injury during his club Ballyhale Shamrock's Leinster Senior Hurling championship semi-final defeat to Oulart-The Ballagh on 1 December.
It was first believed Shefflin had suffered a sprained ankle, however a CAT scan revealed the full extent of the injury: ligament damage, as well as a break in his left mid-foot.
Shefflin is due to be on crutches until early March and will miss the early part of the National League campaign.
Shefflin will undergo surgery at Kilkenny's Aut Even Hospital.
The 33-year-old, nine-time All-Ireland winner, will miss Kilkenny's team holiday in New York and Jamaica, as he bids to recover from the injury.