Heaslip needs a 'perfect' recovery in bid for Leinster comeback
Leinster are still hopeful that Ireland No 8 Jamie Heaslip can yet recover from back surgery to make a prospective Guinness PRO12 final at the Aviva Stadium at the end of this month - providing Leinster can win their home semi-final against either Scarlets or Ospreys.
Although Rob Kearney looks likely to lose his fitness battle to play again this season after his recent knee op - the full-back could conceivably tour with Ireland in the summer - the return of Heaslip (pictured) would be a massive fillip as Leinster seek to win silverware for the first time in three years.
"It would be great," said Leinster assistant coach John Fogarty of Heaslip's potential availability, before adding a note of caution.
"From what I hear, we get these updates week to week, it needs to go pretty well, it needs to go perfectly for him to make sure he's back.
"Then you build in the length of time he's been away, a Pro12 final is pretty intense. There's a lot of pressure involved in the game, the opposition is right up there in terms of who they are, it's almost international standard.
"So it's so important that Jamie goes well in his return and also, we need to make a decision based on the amount of game-time that he's had, and that's something that will be considered as well.
"Hopefully Jamie, with the experience he has and the quality of player he is, returns because he's such a big leader for us also."
Sean O'Brien is expected to return for this weekend's final regular league fixture in Belfast after missing two games with a hamstring issue.
Munster's Ronan O'Mahony fractured his leg in the Treviso win last weekend and will miss the rest of the season.
Dave O'Callaghan is awaiting scan results on a knee problem while Billy Holland and John Ryan missed yesterday's training with illness.