CORK football coach Ronan McCarthy hopes he will have Seán Powter available again soon, but does not expect him to be fit for the Allianz FL Division 2 opener against Fermanagh on January 27.
A damaged hamstring suffered at the start of last year's league ruled the Douglas man out for the remainder of Cork's season and McCarthy is keen not to rush him back.
“Seán seems to be coming along nicely, but, obviously, we will have to take our time with him," he said.
“I doubt he will make the start of the league. He is going well and we are upping his training. He is coming along. It took all of last year [to get himself right], he had a couple of setbacks. We want to take it gently.
"What I would say is that early February, if he didn’t have a setback, that we’d hope to see him sometime in February, all going to plan.”
Meanwhile, Cork's Ruairí Deane believes that the new experimental rules will take some getting used to. The Rebels fell foul of the three-consecutive-handpass limit more than once against Limerick in Sunday's McGrath Cup semi-final and Deane feels they need to improve.
"It's difficult on everyone, the ref and the players," he said.
"You're only getting used to it and this was the first game, you saw in the first half Limerick were a way better at it than us, we got caught a few times and I don't think they got caught at all.
"It's looking at including it in the training, you're conscious that the drills you were doing along, you're now not able to do them anymore so you have to change the game to adapt to the rules.
"That's something that we can now look at moving forward."
The attacking mark, where a player catches a kicked pass inside the 20m line, could be a boon for a player as good in the air as Deane.
"I suppose it's a thing that would probably suit me a bit," he said, "but we took no offensive mark and Limerick took three our four.
"Maybe that was down to the quality of the ball going in, maybe it was taking a bounce on the way in. Again, it's something that we can look at in a bit more detail when we get used to the new rules.
"At least we have an extra game now, if we weren't successful against Limerick then we wouldn't have had that before the league.
"It gave a shot of lads into the panel a great opportunity, fellas starting and coming on and they did fantastic. They're putting us, what I'd call the older lads, under a bit of pressure!
"They're coming in with experience themselves, they've all played minor or U20 or U21. I can offer them a bit of advice if they want it but I can learn from them too so it's nice."