Ireland facing Springbok tour blow after Sean O'Brien's injury 'breakdown'
Published 17/05/2016 | 02:30
Sean O'Brien is unlikely to play again this season after "breaking down" while rehabilitating his hamstring injury.
Leinster have not set a comeback date for their influential flanker who suffered a significant tear to the muscle during Ireland's defeat to France in February, but it looks like he will join Joe Schmidt's growing list of absentees for next month's tour of South Africa.
O'Brien is certainly out of Leinster's sold-out Guinness Pro12 play-off clash with Ulster and is set to join Cian Healy, Simon Zebo, Josh van der Flier and Tommy Bowe in missing the tour, with Nathan White and Donnacha Ryan also unlikely to make it.
Johnny Sexton and Luke Fitzgerald look set to be fit for Friday night's game after returning to training yesterday, while Rob Kearney is battling to recover from his ankle injury in time to take on Ulster on Friday. Jack Conan is also back in the mix, but Fergus McFadden remains suspended.
"Sean O'Brien broke down in his rehab and we will have a further update on him later this week as to what's going to happen," Leinster defence coach Kurt McQuilkin said.
"No, it doesn't look good at the moment."
Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors prop Sila Puafisi will miss Saturday's semi-final against Connacht after receiving a three-week ban for striking Kieran Marmion with his head when the sides met on the last day of the regular season.