Brian Cody has hinted that Henry Shefflin’s bid to make history will depend on his surgeon ahead of the Kilkenny’s legend’s attempts to win a 10th All-Ireland medal this summer.
Shefflin is struggling to overcome a broken bone in his foot picked up on club duty last November with complications to the injury delaying his comeback.
“Henry obviously is out of the equation for quite a while. It’s hard to say, he has got to go back to the surgeon in four or five weeks’ time to look at the situation and take it from there,” Cody said.
“Certainly, right now, he is not going to be with us for the immediate future.”
Shefflin isn’t the only Kilkenny player on the injured list, with Cody set to be missing at least seven players for the league opener against Galway on Sunday.
Michael Rice, Walter Walsh, Cillian Buckley, Richie Doyle and Eoin Larkin are all out of the repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final.
Cody added, “Michael Rice is a fair bit away from hurling still. He is going to be a couple of months anyway and hopefully he gets back into it.
“We have a lot of injuries really. Henry obviously is out of the equation for quite a while. TJ’s gone since the All-Ireland replay is still out and targeting May to be back, probably.
“Cillian Buckley had a hip operation and is getting closer, he’ll be a few weeks. Richie Doyle had a hip operation -- he’s going to be a couple of months.
“Walter Walsh has tendonitis in both knees and we don’t know yet to be honest and that’s enough to keep us going. Eoin Larkin has ongoing groin difficulties, but it’s just a question of managing them and take it as it comes sort of stuff.
“The league is coming up very quickly and it’s going to be very interesting, but it’s very hard for us to see how we are going to go.”
Cody has insisted he has no plans for retirement as he enters a new season as Kilkenny boss, a job he first took up in 1999.
The All-Ireland winning boss said, “I don’t think about that day, but, of course, it’s going to happen. When it will happen, I have no idea. I never had time-frames in my head. I don’t know.
“Personal circumstances have to allow this to happen and I have been privileged and lucky that circumstances have allowed this to happen.”