Cork hurling captain Stephen McDonnell will not be returning to the fold for 2018.

The Glen Rovers man helped the Rebels to the Munster title last July with a 1-25 to 1-20 defeat of Clare at Semple Stadium.

However, new manager John Meyler told the Irish Examiner that the defender has opted out of the upcoming season.

"Stephen’s not in our plans," he said. "He’s taking time out in 2018 so he won’t be available.

"Our aim is to get two players for each position. It always is. With the five league games, possibly league play-offs, the new format for the Munster championship, you’re going to have to have two players for each position.

"But you’re also going to have to trust players who may be injured, who may be tired — playing four Sundays in a row is very difficult. I’ve experience of that with Carlow and Kerry in the round-robin format of the Leinster championship, and I can tell you that by week three of that system fellas are on their knees.

"Next season will be about getting your fitness work done before the league, and then during the National League and championship, it’ll be about recovery.

"That’ll be critical this year: less training, more recovery in the time between those matches."