Word on The Hill
Dublin forward Senan Connell looks set to miss the entire Allianz Football League.
Connell is to undergo an operation to repair a troublesome groin tendon injury early in the New Year and is expected to be sidelined for 10-12 weeks.
The Na Fianna man, who this summer collected his second Leinster SFC medal, has been out of action since the Dublin SFC final reversal to Kilmacud Crokes on October 16, and had hoped that a course of rehabilitation work would fend off the need to go 'under the knife'.
Connell did not start any of last summer's championship matches for the Dubs - being confined to the role of 'impact sub' in all of Dublin's six games, and was the first sub introduced by Caffrey against Tyrone (replay), Laois and Meath.
He started in Dublin's opening three League games of 2005 against Mayo, Tyrone and Kerry and was used as a sub in the Dubs' other clashes against Westmeath, Donegal, Cork and Offaly.
Dublin kick-off their 2006 season against the students of UCD in the O'Byrne Cup - a game which will now take place under lights in Parnell Park on January 11.
Connell is not expected to be fully fit until early April - with Dublin's concluding regulation game of the League an away trip to face All-Ireland runners-up Kerry on April 9.
The loss of Connell in the latest to hit the Dublin camp as Colin Moran, Stephen O'Shaughnessy (both injured) and Shane Ryan (suspended) will all be out of contention for at least most of the League while the Kilmacud Crokes' players are not expected to be involved until their participation in the All-Ireland Club Championship concludes