O'Brien to miss autumn tests
IRELAND flanker Sean O'Brien is facing a four-month injury lay-off and is set to miss the November Internationals, writes Hugh Farrelly.
O'Brien was one of Ireland's best performers during the 3-0 series loss to New Zealand despite carrying a hip problem which has curtailed his training this season. Ireland manager Mick Kearney said O'Brien is going for corrective surgery this week and they are confident he will make a full recovery.
"Sean is having some keyhole surgery on his hip to repair some cartilage damage within the next week or so, and the recovery period for this type of operation is 13 to 15 weeks," said Kearney.
"It means it could be up to four months. Obviously it's going to make him doubtful for November.
"Like any operation there is some risk attached to it but the medics feel he will make a full recovery and that he will certainly be back towards the end of October and he should be back playing Heineken Cup rounds three and four in December."
Kearney added that O'Brien's Leinster team-mates David Kearney and Rhys Ruddock are also facing lay-offs.
"Dave has had a similar kind of procedure done and Rhys I think is having a similar type of procedure. It seems to be a more common type of injury than heretofore. I'm not sure the reason why. People are a bit mystified by it. Sean will make a full recovery -- certainly that's the medical opinion."