14:34, 22 May 2012
Monaghan captain Darren Hughes is hoping to be back playing by the end of June despite receiving worrying news regarding a thigh injury.
A dead leg led to Hughes suffering calcification in his right thigh which means he will miss Monaghan's Ulster SFC quarter-final against Antrim on Sunday.
The Scotstown clubman will have to be monitored closely in the coming weeks as his injury is serious enough to threaten his footballing future.
"It is serious, even walking on it you're probably at risk. It can be career-threatening if it's not looked after," he told the Irish News.
"The physio said he cannot emphasise how careful I have to be with this injury. There is nothing out there that can cure it bar giving it time.
"I've asked if there is anything I can do, what remedies I could take, but (physio) Alan (Byrne) works with the Irish soccer team and told me if there was something could be done for this injury, Man United would have found it when the same thing happened to John O'Shea.
"He was out for four months because he started to run on it and it got a lot worse before it got better. I have rested mine well and it is a realistic target for me to be ready for the end of June."
The 25-year-old is a farmer and thus has quite a physical and demanding workload, but remains confident that with careful management of his leg he can return for Monaghan's next Championship outing - be it an Ulster semi-final against either Down or Fermanagh, or an All-Ireland first round qualifier.
Regarding this weekend's opening test for his side in Clones, Hughes added: "There is no point moping because it's not about me - there is a job to do.
"Antrim are confident of turning us over, and the way we are performing over the last 18 months we can't look beyond Antrim. At the same time, we have a good enough squad - even with the injuries - so we are optimistic."