Connacht blow as Masterson ruled out until December
It's an exciting period for many of the young talents being produced by Connacht but there was bad news for one of their emerging stars yesterday when it was confirmed that Eoghan Masterson will be out until December.
The 22-year old suffered a serious knee ligament injury away to Zebre last Saturday week which ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
And while surgery was successful, coach Pat Lam confirmed that the Portlaoise native will be out action for the most of 2016, a few months longer than initially envisaged for a player who had only missed two Pro 12 games this season before the injury.
"Eoghan has had surgery for his knee injury, it was positive, but he is looking to return towards the end of the calendar year, around December," said Lam.
The loss of the back-rower comes at a time when another 22-year old, Ultan Dillane, made an excellent cameo on his Ireland debut off the bench against England.
And Lam could have Dillane and the other four members in the Irish squad available for Friday's clash away to Edinburgh as they look to hold on to top spot in the Pro 12.
"They'll be here for the week and then Joe Schmidt will probably release a couple for the game because he has no game this week. Having all five of them is possible, but then we have got to manage that around the training time and the short week," said Lam.
Captain John Muldoon, a late withdrawal with a hamstring injury before the 30-22 win over Ospreys on Saturday night, is expected to be available to play on Friday night.
But Lam needs to see if scrum-half Caolin Blade, winger Niyi Adeolokun and lock Ben Marshall recover from head injuries.
There was a boost for Lam when it emerged that out-half Jack Carty who could see action before the end of the season.
The 23-year-old had his spleen removed after rupturing it on a holiday in Dubai a few weeks ago, but has returned to training as he continues his recovery. It had been feared that he might be out for the remainder of the season.
"Jack has resumed light training with the squad. He will be progressed back into the team training as he recovers from surgery," said Lam.
"We can't put a definite date on it. It could be anything from a month to three months.
"He is good, he has recovered. He lost a bit of weight but he can work back and get that right."