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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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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