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Tony Kelly has undergone surgery for a recurring ankle injury which will rule him out of action for up to four months.

Having cancelled a planned operation in recent weeks, reports circulated that the Ballyea man would again opt against having the surgery until his club’s involvement in the Clare SHC concluded.

Ballyea manager, Robbie Hogan has told The Clare Echo that the All Star had surgery on Monday which rules him out of their season. The two-time champions have been drawn against Newmarket-on-Fergus in the Clare SHC semi-finals.

Kelly was sprung from the bench to play a pivotal role for his club scoring two points in under twenty minutes as they overcame Kilmaley to advance to the last four. He had previously sat out their final group clash with Cratloe two weeks earlier.

A four month lay-off is now on the cards for the 2013 Hurler of the Year and he is likely to miss the majority of Brian Lohan’s third National Hurling League campaign as Clare boss.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Hogan noted the importance of Kelly to the club in both a playing and coaching capacity, “Tony Kelly is a value to the club, a value to the county, a massive player. We have to move on now”.

“We could do with him every day. I heard a great quote from the late Axel Foley, he said we are not dealing with livestock, we are dealing with human beings. Tony’s body needs the operation and we will back him. We wouldn’t be in the position we are in without him,” the 2016 Clare SHC and Munster club winning manager added.

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