Monaghan's provincial ambitions have been hit with a setback after it was confirmed that Darren Hughes will be out for up to three months with a knee injury.

The midfielder damaged a medial ligament playing for his club Scotstown last weekend and has been told he may need surgery if it fails to heal correctly.

The Farney men begin their Ulster SFC campaign against Fermanagh on 20 May with the final scheduled for Sunday July 16.

"It’s not the cruciate so I suppose that’s kind of a bonus," the 30-year-old told The Irish News.

"It’s a right bit away but it is what it is, I just have to get on with it. At the minute I don’t need surgery - they were afraid of a full rupture but they don’t think it is so

"I’ve just to look after it and hopefully it’ll heal well.

"I’ve been told to do nothing for the next two to three weeks – it all depends how it settles. If it doesn’t do anything in the next four [weeks] it could be an operation.

"I’ll have to see how the initial healing process goes and take it from there, but it’ll be well on in the year before I see anything."