Sunday 22 October 2017

Concern for O'Connor as Leinster's injury crisis mounts

Leinster have hit double figures in terms of absentees. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Leinster have hit double figures in terms of absentees. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
David Kelly

David Kelly

Leinster have admitted that their injury profile is a concern after a fresh problem emerged in relation to Sean O’Brien’s shoulder, following his ankle surgery earlier this month.

Although the IRFU closely guard any data on injuries in this country, comparable studies in England suggest that clubs can regularly have 20pc of their work-force on the treatment table.

Leinster’s toll is substantially beyond that and, although hooker Richardt Strauss and prop Jack McGrath are slated to return to action in this weekend’s clash with Munster, the province still have a worryingly lengthy injury list.

“We would normally be running at a lot less,” admitted Leinster and Ireland assistant coach Richie Murphy. “It is just one of those things. A lot of the injuries being caused are trauma-based which you can’t really account for.”

Leinster have hit double figures in terms of absentees.

Aside from long-term injury victims Cian Healy and Dave Kearney, Leinster remain uncertain as to when some of their other stars may be able to return.

Recurring

“Richardt is back in full training this week with a view to getting some game time this week,” elaborated Murphy.

“Zane Kirchner is looking to be back on the pitch this week with a view to being available possibly this weekend, but definitely the following week.

“Kevin McLaughlin has a recurring knee thing and he’s rehabbing from. I think he’s available this week to play, but a decision won’t be made on that until later on.

“Noel is doing really well and again he’ll be looking at probably being back for Zebre next week.

“Jordi Murphy is doing well but he’s still quite a bit away from playing – you’re looking at probably November. Shane Jennings is again not going to be available this weekend.”

Gordon D’Arcy has repeated his assertion that last Friday night’s bonus-point win against Cardiff in the RDS was a mediocre performance.

“I think that’s a pretty fair assessment,” he said. “Mediocre is a fair representation.”

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