MAYO defender Patrick Durcan has been ruled out for the side's clash against Kerry in Killarney on Sunday in the opening round of the All-Ireland SFC Super 8s, The Connaught Telegraph has learned.
That will leave James Horan's charges without their captain and vice-captain as skipper Diarmuind O'Connor is also out of action due to injury.
While O'Connor's has been out since picking up a wrist injury before the Armagh game and will not be ready to return until the last Super 8 game at least, Durcan picked up his leg injury against Galway last Saturday night and will not be fit enough to play despite receiving treatment throughout the week.
This is a major blow to Mayo and leaves the side without three players - Durcan, O'Connor and Matthew Ruane - who starred in their National League final win over Kerry in Croke Park at the end of March.
Durcan's place on starting 15 is taken by Castlebar Mitchels club-mate Donal Vaughan, who came on as a substitute against Galway.
Vaughan will partner O'Shea in the middle of the field with Stephen Coen moving to the half back line to fill the gap created by Durcan's loss.
Mayo: David Clarke, Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Stephen Coen, Aidan O'Shea, Donal Vaughan, Fionn McDonagh, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty, Cillian O'Connor, Darren Coen and James Carr.