Donegal officials confirmed last night that Ulster championship-winning team captain and star player Michael Murphy had keyhole surgery for a groin injury yesterday and will be out of action for at least eight weeks.
Murphy (22) has played huge amounts of football for the county senior and U-21 teams in the last couple of years as well as for DCU.
He had a problem with the groin but because he aggravated the injury recently, the medical advice was to undergo a minor procedure in Dublin.
It's possible Murphy will return to action before the end of the Allianz League, but manager Jim McGuinness was adamant that the player's rehabilitation won't be rushed.
"The medical people will decide," McGuinness said. "Whatever decision is taken will be the right decision for Michael in the longer term and not the shorter term.
"Our place in Division 1 doesn't really come into it.
"We will use the league this year the same as we did last year -- we'll hope to stay in the division and if we can make a push towards the semi-finals that would be great.
"But the rehab plan would be based on getting Michael Murphy back to full fitness.
"He's 22 years of age and we'd like to think he'll be playing for Donegal when he's 32. We won't jeopardise him one per cent."