Veteran defender Karl Lacey has today revealed that he will request an extended winter break from inter-county service next season.
The 2012 Footballer of The Year has clocked up tonnes of mileage in the Donegal jersey and has spent the last few seasons in a ongoing battle with injury. He underwent hip surgery in the Autumn in 2012 and the suffering continued this season. It will be the second leader who coach Rory Gallagher will be deprived up this winter. Goalkeeper Paul Durcan told Balls.ie last month that he'll be in the Persian Gulf for work this winter.
At 31 years of age, the Four Masters star fears his body is no longer able to complete a full season of intense football.
Speaking to the Irish Independent today Lacey said:
I don't know what his plans are - if he wants me back in November, December, January time for training. I don't think my body will sustain that for the whole season
Lacey wants to get the timing right with his return to ensure he plays his best football when it matters at championship time. He plans to have a thorough discussion with manager Rory Gallagher to formulate the best plan possible for him and avoid burn-out.
So if we can come up with something maybe, sit down with himself, the coaches and the medical team and see what the best structure is to put in place for me. I want to be peaking around May, June or July time rather than during the National League
Donegal performed poorly in this year's championship, losing the Ulster Final to Monaghan by a point before crashing out of the All-Ireland quarter-final against Mayo. Lacey was also substituted in the Ulster Final.