Footballer of the Year James O'Donoghue is set to miss Kerry's entire 2015 Allianz Football League campaign after being ruled out for up to six months due to shoulder surgery.
O'Donoghue (24) won the Player of the Year award, along with a second All-Star in a row, for his stellar performances in the Kingdom's march to their 37th All-Ireland title.
He missed the opening championship victory over Clare due to a shoulder strain but had hoped to avoid surgery on the persistent injury.
Eight-time All-Star forward Colm Cooper isn't expected to return until March at the earliest.
Kerry will open their Munster football title defence at the semi-final stage in June, against either Waterford or Tipperary.