Tipperary are likely to be without goalkeeper Evan Comerford for most of their Championship season, as he faces a 12-week ban for a "minor physical altercation" with refereePaddy Russell during a club game on Tuesday of last week.
Stephen Gleeson of Tipp FM reports that Comerford has been given a 12-week ban, and has three days to lodge an appeal.
Tipp keeper Evan Comerford will be out of action for 12 weeks for minor physical interference with a ref. Has 3 days to appeal the ban #gaa
— Stephen Gleeson (@StephenGleeson_) May 30, 2017
The incident occurred toward a championship clash between Comerford's Kilsheelan-Kilcash and JK Brackens. Comerford was sent-off toward the end of the game, with the Nationalist newspaper reporting that Comerford raised his hands toward the referee in disputing the red card, raising suspicions of an incipient suspension should Russell include the incident in his report from the game.
That has now come to pass, and Comerford will miss virtually the entire championship if his appeal fails. He was a critical member of the Tipp side that did so well last year, and earned an All-Star nomination for his role in Tipp's improbable venture to the All-Ireland semi-finals.
Tipp begin their Munster championship on June 10th, where they will be in the unfamiliar position as favourites to beat Cork in a semi-final. They will likely remain so, despite the possible loss of Comerford.
Referee Russell has found himself at the heart of controversy before: Paul Galvin was given a six-month suspension for slapping his notebook out of his hand during a Munster championship game with Clare in Killarney.