Bláthnáid McLaughlin has been ruled out for several months. Photo: Sportsfile
Donegal senior ladies player Bláthnáid McLaughlin has suffered a season-ending knee injury.
The Moville woman was forced off in the early minutes of the TG4 All-Ireland SFC game against Waterford in Birr.
McLaughlin was carried off after only six minutes and it has been confirmed that she ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
“It’s a big blow, a killer for us,” Donegal manager Maxi Curran told Donegal Live.
“That’s her season done, unfortunately. Without a shadow of doubt, she is a massive loss to us.”
McLaughlin’s sister and Donegal captain Niamh sustained three ACL injuries and is now working as a physiotherapist.
Curran admits that McLaughlin’s absence leaves a ‘massive void’ in his side ahead of Saturday-week’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Curran said: “She had taken on the wing-forward role in recent times and is a real bundle of energy. It isn’t an easy role to play, but she got to grips with it and got her head around it. It leaves a massive void for sure.”
With regard to the rest of his squad, the Donegal boss says ‘everyone else is heading in the right direction’.
“There is a lot of ground to cover between now and the game,” he noted.
Donegal will play Dublin, who defeated Mayo 2-14 to 1-7 to win Group A, in the last eight. The victors from that will play either Galway or All-Ireland champions Meath
In the group stage, Donegal were 1-10 to 1-5 victors over Waterford before losing to Cork 2-12 to 1-10.
Last season, Donegal's All-Ireland campaign ended with defeat to Dublin in the quarter-finals, going down 2-12 to 2-17 in Carrick-on-Shannon and in 2020, Dublin effectively ended Donegal's chances with a 2-13 to 2-10 win in Cavan.
The most recent meeting of the sides came in March in the Lidl National Football League Division 1 semi-final, where Donegal struck late goals through Emma McCrory and Yvonne Bonner to win out 2-8 to 1-10.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.