Both Setanta and Hogan Stand are today quoting Johnno as saying that Ciaran McDonald will definitely miss the Connacht championship clash with Galway in five weeks time. It's no surprise, really, as his back problem has been known to be serious and has kept him on the sidelines since last year's All-Ireland final. I doubt very much if we'll see him in the colours at all this year; indeed, we could well already have seen the last of him altogether.
While it might be argued that Mac's absence doesn't impact directly on Johnno's plans - given that he's never lined out for us under the Second Coming - his loss to the county is still enormous. Players of Mac's talent simply do not appear on a regular basis and Johnno must have hoped that his rare skills would have been available at some point over the Summer. While that could still happen, we have to face facts and conclude that it's now looking unlikely.