Galway footballer Michael Meehan has opted out of the county’s senior panel “for the foreseeable future”.

The 29-year-old, who made his senior championship debut in 2003, has been dogged by a series of injuries and underwent surgery on his ankle in November.

It had been hoped that Meehan would return for the Allianz Football League but his injury has not responded well to treatment and he has not yet resumed training.

In a statement, Galway GAA said that a return in time for the Championship was considered unrealistic.

Galway manager Alan Mulholland said he fully supported Meehan's decision and that he hoped that he would make a full recovery.

“Michael has been a marquee player for Galway for the last decade and his absence for the season ahead will leave a big void,” Mulholland said. “While disappointed, we can understand Michael's frustration and fully support his decision to give his injury a complete rest.”

Meehan has not ruled out a return to inter-county action following what the Galway statement described as “a substantial period of rest”.

Meehan, who was joined on the Galway team by brothers Declan, Tomas and Noel and who inspired Caltra to the 2004 All-Ireland club title, has won three Connacht senior titles and also won two All-Ireland Under-21 titles.