Donegal's footballers have received a blow ahead of the start of the new season with the news that Karl Lacey is facing up to 14 weeks on the sidelines through injury.

The Footballer of the Year underwent hip surgery last Saturday and is not expected to return to action with the All-Ireland champions until the latter stages of the Allianz Football League.

There has not been an official date given by the Donegal County Board for Lacey’s return; however, it has been suggested that he may be back in time for the final round of the Allianz League.