Tyrone forward Kyle Coney ruled out of McKenna game with Derry

Kyle Coney

Tyrone forward Kyle Coney will miss Sunday's McKenna Cup opener against Derry because of an ankle injury.

Coney picked up the injury in training this week and is a doubt for the remainder of the competition.

It is the latest injury setback for the holders with Ronan McNabb and Colm Cavanagh among the players ruled out of the McKenna campaign.

Elsewhere, Down start against Cavan with Antrim up against UUJ and Monaghan face St Mary's at Clones.

Midfielder Cavanagh is sidelined after sustaining a wrist fracture in an innocuous challenge while playing football at home.

An initial X-ray showed no damage but a subsequent MRI scan confirmed the injury.

Cavanagh was one of the stars of last year's McKenna Cup run, although he sustained cracked ribs in the final win over Derry which ruled him out of the start of the National League campaign.

His midfield partner Mickey Murphy will also be unavailable as he is currently on a month-long holiday in Australia.

Paul McComiskey battles with Aidan Walsh in the 2011 All-Ireland qualifier
Paul McComiskey hasn't lined out for Down since the 2011 All-Ireland qualifier defeat by Cork

Forward McNabb is recovering after surgery on a hip problem while Ciaran McGinley (toe) and Conan Grugan (knee) are also McKenna Cup absentees.

Mickey Harte hands senior intercounty debuts to goalkeeper Niall Morgan, Barry Tierney, Ryan McKenna, Danny McBride and Kevin Gallagher.

New Derry boss Brian McIver includes newcomers Eoin McNicholl, Ryan Ferris and Ryan Bell while Dermot McBride will captain the Oak Leafers at Omagh.

Paul McComiskey is in line to make his first Down appearance since the 2011 All-Ireland qualifier defeat against Cork in the game against Cavan at Breffni Park.

Danny Hughes and Ambrose Rogers are unlikely to feature as they recover from minor knocks but Kevin McKernan and Conor Laverty could line out.

Cian Mackey has returned to the Cavan panel while newcomers Killian Brady and Michael Brady may feature.

New Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke looks likely to field an experienced team against St Mary's with Darren Hughes, Dessie Mone, Dick Clerkin and Conor McManus also available for the game against the understrength Ranch line-up.

St Mary's are minus several players who will be in action for their counties in the competition.

With Antrim minus several players including James Loughrey, Aodhan Gallagher and the McGourty brothers, new manager Frank Dawson is expected to start Paul Doherty and Tony Scullion against UUJ.

The Poly have already been ravaged by the withdrawal of several of their county-tied contingent and to make matters worse will now be without Chrissy McKaigue (tonsils) and Paul Devlin (ankle).

TEAMS

Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Dermot Carlin; Conor Gormley, Barry Tierney; Ryan McKenna, Joe McMahon, Danny McBride; Conor Clarke, Sean Cavanagh; Kevin Gallagher, Mark Donnelly, Matthew Donnelly; Martin Penrose, Stephen O'Neill, Jonathan Lafferty.

Derry: Eoin McNicholl; Dermot McBride, Ciaran Mullan, Ryan Ferris; Sean Leo McGoldrick, Mark Lynch, Charlie Kielt; P J McCloskey, Patsy Bradley; Ryan Bell, Raymond Wilkinson, Barry McGoldrick; James Kielt, Lee Kennedy, Eoin Bradley. Subs: Thomas Mallon, Micheal Anderson, Philip Bradley, Aidan McAlynn, Brian McCallion, Declan Brown, Blaine Gormley, Daniel Heavron, Declan Mullan, Coilin Devlin, Enda Lynn.

Monaghan: Rory Beggan; Dessie Mone, Fintan Kelly, Kieran Duffy; Martin McElroy, Darren Hughes, Carl O'Connell; Dick Clerkin, Neil McAdam; Stephen Smith, Paul McArdle, Owen Duffy; Padraig Donaghy, Conor McManus, Dermot Malone. Subs: Mark Keogh, Ronan McNally, Owen Coyle, Conor Galligan, Owen Lennon, Gerard McArdle, Gavin Doogan, Shane McQuillan, Tommy O'Neill, Keith McEnaney, Donal Hahessy.

Dr McKenna Cup

Sunday 6 January - 14:00 GMT

Section A

Monaghan v St Mary's University College (Clones)

Section B

Cavan v Down (Kingspan Breffni Park)

Section C

University of Ulster Jordanstown v Antrim (Casement Park)

Tyrone v Derry (Healy Park)

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