Tipperary's 2018 campaign has hit an early set-back with triple All-Star Seamus Callanan ruled out of most of the national league.

The 29-year old is struggling with a back injury and may not feature for the Premier County until the championship.

The prolific scorer is suffering from a disc problem and a date for his return is unknown.

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan is hopeful that the Drom & Inch clubman will be back for the latter stages of the league.

Tipperary, beaten in the league final last year by Galway, have not won the title since 2008 but will have to plan without the double All-Ireland winner for most of the spring schedule.

Tipperary continued their preparations for the league opener in two weeks against Clare with a facile win over Galway champions Liam Mellows in Lorrha yesterday (SAT).

Michael Breen scored 2-2 in a one-sided game where Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher was in top form on his home club ground, shooting six points, five of which came in the opening half as Tipperary led by 1-17 to 0-5 at the break.

Breen got his second goal in the final quarter, with the impressive Ger Browne and Noel McGrath also finding the net as Tipperary ran out 4-30 to 0-8 winners against a Mellows side who will face Cuala in the All-Ireland club semi-final next month after winning their first Galway title in 47 years.