Tyrone's Ulster and All-Ireland hopes have suffered a blow with news that Cathal McShane has suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury, and will miss the Championship.
Last year's All-Star full-forward sustained the injury during the NFL clash with Galway at Tuam back in February.
The 24-year-old would have missed the Ulster Championship first round meeting with Donegal had it been played on the scheduled date in May, but the Covid-19 pandemic helped him buy time.
Such was his progress in recovery following surgery that he expressed confidence just weeks ago that he would be fit for the new date for the provincial series opener on 31 October/1 November.
However, his rehabilitation has not gone as well as hoped, and he will not play again this season.
"Behind every set back is an opportunity" 2020 has been frustrating year for sure however always staying positive! I will be doing everything possible to make sure I come back stronger 💚❤️ - 🇵🇱 #nostoneunturned pic.twitter.com/gZotfLSo4a— Cathal McShane (@CathalMcShane1) August 7, 2020
McShane tweeted at the weekend: " 'Behind every setback is an opportunity’. 2020 has been frustrating year for sure however always staying positive! I will be doing everything possible to make sure I come back stronger."
A club source confirmed that McShane has not been able to train or play with Owen Roes since football resumed last month.
The source added that he underwent a further operation last week to rectify a recurring issue, and is expected to be out of action for the remainder of the year.
McShane will be a big loss to the Red Hands having been last year's championship top-scorer with 3-49 before they bowed out in the All-Ireland semi-final against eventual runners-up Kerry.
In February, he decided against taking up an offer to join Aussie Rules outfit Adelaide Crows.