Down manager Paddy Tally is confident that his side can cope with the loss of Johnny Flynn after the Loughinisland man suffered an Achilles tendon in training.

Tally's side will be without the battling midfield for their Ulster Championship opener against Donegal at Pairc Esler.

Flynn absence in the heart of the Down midfield will be felt, but Tally believes that he has enough strength and depth within his squad to manager.

"We lost Johnny Flynn last Thursday night, Johnny had an ankle injury, just a bit of a freak one that sounds likes his Achilles Tendon," the Down boss said.

"Johnny is going to be out for a while but apart from that we’re all good.

"I suppose it opens up a door for somebody else, an opportunity for somebody to step up on the field of play and also for another player to put himself into the matchday squad.

"You always try and bring the positives out of it.

"With Johnny or without Johnny it’s going to be a massive task against Donegal. No matter what happens we know we’re going to have to play out of our skin on Saturday and that’s the challenge that’s ahead of us."

Meanwhile Dublin hurler Eamonn Dillon is also out with an injury picked up in training and is likely to miss the rest of the campaign with the Dubs.

Dublin boss Mattie Kenny confirmed the bad news and said: "It's a blow for him personally, and it's a blow for us also. He's a top marksman, a top inside-forward and one of the best inside-forwards in the game today."

Follow all the championship matches this weekend with our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app. Watch Down v Donegal and Clare v Waterford live on RTÉ One (from 12.55pm) and see highlights of all the weekend's action on The Sunday Game at 9.30pm on RTÉ One. Listen to live and exclusive national radio commentaries on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday and Sunday Sport.