Down manager Eamonn Burns must plan without Gerard McGovern for the rest of the season.
The Burren full back is gone travelling and Burns is respectful of his decision.
"Gerard is a very experienced player, but he's decided that he's going to take a wee bit of time out and I have to respect that decision," he told the Newry Democrat.
"Yes, we would like to have him on board, but Gerard has decided that he wants to travel so we've have got to respect that."
The Mourne County are currently joint-second in Division 2 of the Allianz Football League and Burns says a win over Clare in Newry tomorrow is a must if they're to remain in the promotion hunt.
"Obviously, if you're going to get yourself in a serious position in Division 2, push on and make some serious progress in that division, winning your home games is important," he continued.
"We're under no illusions that Clare will come north and present a formidable challenge."