CORK FORWARD DANIEL Goulding is set to go under the knife next week to rectify a minor knee problem which will see him sidelined for the early stages of the Allianz Football League.
Goulding was initially hampered by the injury in his left knee before Christmas.
It has failed to improve and he did not feature in Cork’s two games in the McGrath Cup earlier this month.
The 2010 All-Ireland medal winner went for a consultation yesterday in the Santry Sports Surgery Clinic in Dublin and is now set to undergo keyhole surgery next week in an effort to restore him to full fitness.
“I wanted to get it sorted as soon as I could,” Goulding told TheScore.ie. “It only seems to be a minor problem with the knee, probably with the cartilage. But hopefully I can sort it out now and get back to full fitness.
“I’m probably going to be looking at six weeks out after it so I’d be looking at around mid-March to try to get back playing.”
Goulding will thus miss Cork’s opening three Division 1 games against Dublin in Croke Park on February 2nd, against Kildare in Páirc Uí Rinn on February 9th and the trip to Newry to face Down on March 3rd.
Cork have games scheduled for March 10th against Tyrone in Omagh and on March 16th against Donegal in Páirc Uí Rinn but it remains to be seen whether Goulding will be available for those matches.
It marks the second successive year where the Éire Óg clubman is forced to sit out the opening stages of Cork’s campaign.
Last year he was hampered by an injury to his right ankle, initially sustained in the All-Ireland qualifier against Down in July 2011, and which subsequently required an operation on in December 2011.
Goudling missed the regulation stages of last year’s league campaign but returned for the Division 1 semi-final win against Down in April.
And after a series of substitute appearances during the championship, he regained his starting place for Cork’s All-Ireland semi-final against Donegal last August.