Gavin White doesn't have an exact date circled in the calendar for when he'll be back in a Kerry jersey, but he is hopeful of returning for the latter stages of the league, or the beginning of the championship.
The rapid Killarney man "did a substantial amount of damage" to the cartilage of his left knee during last year's championship.
He went off injured late in the semi-final victory over Dublin, and was a major doubt for the final against Galway but managed to play the full game. The wing-back subsequently had surgery on the knee and is now cognizant of the need to take his time with the rehabilitation.
"It was an unusual injury, it didn't just happen in one go in the Dublin game," White, who turns 26 this week, said at the launch of the Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2023.
"It probably came over a period of time. If you look back at the injury in the Dublin game, nothing really happened as such. It just was the last tear in the cartilage, there was a substantial amount of cartilage ripped off really. So I had to get a microfracture operation done on that to get some sort of cartilage back in it. I'm well and truly into my rehab at the moment.
"I got the operation three weeks after the final and I was on crutches for six weeks. I couldn’t walk or do anything, and I’ve only done a small bit of running there in the last week for the first time since.
"So look it has been five months out and I don’t have a timeline as such, just taking it week by week and from my own point of view I’d be hoping to get some sort of a league but if that doesn’t happen I’m happy with that too, it’s just the way sport goes I suppose."
'Stressful' two weeks for Kerry half-back
The fortnight between the semi-final and final was "a fairly stressful" time for White as he waited to find out if he would be fit enough to face Galway.
"After the Dublin game, I came down on the bus, we stopped in Adare, and we drove off from there on our own separate ways. It didn't feel the best coming down in the car that night, I remember," he said.
"That week I went for a scan and our physios looked at the scan, it didn't bring up anything too major, thank God. The two weeks before the final I was in and out of ice baths constantly, looked at my own sleeping patterns, using compression garments, anything at all possible that I could get and any bit of extra rest.
"Thankfully I'm teaching here in Killarney so I didn't have any work or anything. So I was off my feet most of the day which helped as well. I didn't have to get an injection.
"So I didn't train a whole pile in the lead up to the final, I think I got back on the pitch maybe the Tuesday beforehand. I did the Thursday session then which was a fairly light session. My preparation for the final wasn't the best in terms of training and kicking ball. I did the Thursday session, it felt alright. So I went into the weekend with an open mind, if I'm able to play I'll play, but I don't want to hinder the team either.
"Thankfully I did the warm up in Croke Park that Sunday, it felt fairly good and thankfully it held up through the game. I'm not sure how it managed to do that, but I suppose the adrenalin and the excitement got me over the line.
"It started giving me a bit of bother alright towards the very, very end. I remember I punched a point, I think I collided with Seán Kelly at the time with maybe 71 or 72 minutes on the clock. That is when it started kicking up again, but thankfully the game was nearly wrapped up at that stage."
White continued: "It’s a funny enough injury, it’s sort of one I want to get right now when I’m at it if that makes sense," he said.
"Obviously, I’d love to be going to Donegal this weekend if I could I'd be up there and likewise with the club championship [with Dr Crokes], I missed all that obviously and I would have loved to play that but it’s a funny one with the knee and with my age on top of that I want to try and prolong my career as much as I can.
"I sat down with doctors and with specialists to see what the best approach was and that was the guideline I was told they are masters of the art and I took that advice on board."