CORK footballers have been dealt a major double blow before the season has even started with serious injuries to midfielder Killian O’Hanlon and defender Aidan Browne.
Both are said to be ruled out for the league campaign, which starts against Kildare in Thurles in a fortnight, as well as the championship in July, when Cork meet either Waterford or Limerick.
O’Hanlon (28) and Browne (22) suffered cruciate knee ligament injuries in separate incidents during the week.
O’Hanlon, who led Kilkshannig to county junior championship glory in 2019, made his championship debut the year before and teamed up with captain Ian Maguire at midfield.
The scorer of two points in last season’s last-gasp win over Kerry in the Munster semi-final, O’Hanlon’s place at midfield could go to Kanturk’s Paul Walsh.
Browne made his championship debut in 2019 and while the defender wasn’t in the panel for the Kerry game, he was included as an used substitute in the Munster final loss to Tipperary.
Cork's first league game is in Thurles on May 15 against Kildare, before they travel to Laois and Clare in Division 2 South. After that they'll either face a promotion or relegation semi-final against a county from Division 2 North, which features Meath, Westmeath, Down and Mayo.