Down's decision to go ahead with a full round of club championship action last weekend may have backfired badly, as captain Ambrose Rodgers has sustained a knee injury that leaves him doubtful for the All-Ireland semi-final against Kildare on August 29.
Rodgers limped off in a club game last Sunday and although Down initially played down his injury, he is going for a scan in the coming days, which indicates it could be serious.
Any injury to the big midfielder would be a massive blow for manager James McCartan.
Rodgers, who ruptured his spleen in a qualifier game in 2008 and missed Down's Division 2 league final loss to Armagh this year with a foot injury, has been back to his best form this summer.
His strong midfield partnership with championship rookie Kalum King has provided vital leadership for the Mournemen, who shocked so many by beating Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
McCartan had a nervous time last weekend when virtually his entire panel lined out in club championship action, but everyone else appears to have come through unscathed.
Rodgers' club Longstone, who beat Leitrim, were one of the last in action and he was forced off after 48 minutes.
He reportedly sustained the injury on hitting the grand, had treatment at the time and stayed on for another 10 minutes before being replaced.
Meanwhile the search for a new football team manager in succession to Damian Cassidy may be high on the Derry County Board’s agenda right now but last night the governing body was confronted by further problems.
Both the Lavey and Sean Dolan’s clubs launched their respective defences at a board meeting after incurring the ire of the governing body.
Lavey were ejected from the All County League for failing to fulfil two successive fixtures while Sean Dolan’s were seeking clemency following the imposition of a 24-week ban after they gave less than one hour’s notice that they would be unable to fulfil their Intermediate Championship fixture against Castledawson.