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Tyrone blow as Mattie Donnelly set to go under the knife

Mattie Donnelly
Mattie Donnelly
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Tyrone will be without captain Matthew Donnelly for the duration of the National League through injury, while it is also doubtful if he will be back in time for their Ulster Championship meeting against Donegal in Ballybofey.

Donnelly left the pitch at half-time during Trillick's Ulster Club Championship defeat - on penalties - to Derrygonnelly Harps with a suspected hamstring strain.

When the game moved into extra-time, he was brought on again and there was a hope that his injury might not have been quite as serious as first feared.

However, Donnelly went for a scan last week which showed he had damaged a tendon holding the hamstring to the bone.

He is travelling to London for an operation today and the usual recovery for an injury of this kind is six months.

This would rule out the National League entirely, and with April being reserved for club matches, he will want to get game time for Trillick before the Donegal tie - if he is back to fitness.

It is the latest in a busy off-season for Tyrone. Manager Mickey Harte is entering the last year of his arrangement and there has been flux in his backroom.

Selector and forwards coach Stephen O'Neill stepped down, while strength and conditioning expert Peter Donnelly left for Ulster Rugby, later confirming he will combine it with Monaghan.

Assistant Gavin Devlin will serve a sideline ban at the start of the year. Meanwhile, Harte has added former Derry coach Kevin Madden and ex-Ulster Rugby strength coach Jonny Davis to the mix.

Belfast Telegraph

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