Mark Poland says he would welcome the return of "phenomenal talent" Martin Clarke to the Down panel as the Mournemen prepare for the start of their Football League campaign against Donegal on Saturday night.
The 28-year-old, who has Addinson's Disease, is back playing colleges football with Queen's University in Belfast.
Poland adds that he is looking forward to the "massive challenge" of trying to retain the county's Division One status under new manager Eamon Burns.
"If you are playing Division One football, you are on a steep learning curve. Donegal is a match to whet the appetite and a brilliant way to kick off the league."