Connor McAliskey injury in Cavan loss overshadows end of Tyrone's McKenna run

Connor McAliskey receives treatment at Breffni Park
Mickey Harte says Connor McAliskey will undergo a scan to ascertain to extent of his knee injury

Tyrone counted the cost of their first McKenna Cup defeat in six years as a suspected cruciate damage for Connor McAliskey was among four injuries they sustained against Cavan.

McAliskey was forced off late on after Michael Cassidy, Rory Brennan, and Ronan O'Neill had picked up earlier injuries in the 1-13 to 0-11 defeat.

"It's threatening at the minute," said Mickey Harte of McAliskey's injury.

"We probably won't know until there's a scan done."

A cruciate ligament injury would almost certainly rule out McAliskey from football for a number of months and possibly for the rest of 2017.

Debutant Cassidy hobbled off with an ankle injury early in the game and his replacement Brennan was then forced off before half-time with a shoulder problem.

To cap off a bad day on the injuries front for the Red Hands, Harte added that forward Ronan O'Neill "didn't look that healthy" at the end of the game.

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Mickey Harte laments Tyrone's McKenna Cup start as they lose to Cavan and pick up injuries

Donnelly sent off after Johnston incident

Like Cavan, Tyrone finished the game with 14 players with Mattie Donnelly sent off three minutes from time after being adjudged to have caught Seanie Johnston with a blow to the face.

Cavan's Niall McDermott had been dismissed 10 minutes earlier after picking up his second yellow card.

Manager Harte felt that Donnelly's dismissal - which could rule him out of Tyrone's two remaining Section C games - had been harsh although video evidence showed him raising his hand towards Johnston's face in the off-the-ball incident.

Johnston clutched his face after falling to the turf following the incident although the extent of the contact was not clear from the match footage.

"I did see what happened to Mattie Donnelly and I certainly didn't think it was a red card," said the Tyrone boss.

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Cavan boss McGleenan starts with win over Tyrone

"Seanie Johnston went to step inside him and he (Donnelly) threw out his hand, just to try and tackle him or stop him and somehow touched him round the face somewhere.

"It appeared to be very bad at the time but shortly after that didn't appear to be that bad."

Cavan's win saw Mattie McGleenan's side became the first team to beat Tyrone in the McKenna Cup since Derry's final triumph over the Red Hands in the 2011 competition.

Harte said his team's McKenna Cup fate is now "out of our own hands".

"Even if we win our last two games (Ulster University and Donegal), we'll still be depending on other people for results.

"It's not a good place to be. You like to always be in control of your own destiny."

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