Fitzgerald to miss start of the season

Luke Fitzgerald has been told by Leinster coach Matt O'Connor to "just get fit" before he makes any claim to wear the number thirteen jersey for Leinster.

The Ireland three-quarter (pictured) underwent surgery three weeks ago and will not be available for the start of the season.

"It's a three-month injury so I'm looking to probably get back for the first week of September, if not slightly before that," he said. "It's within the time frame that I've been given but I think most people aren't as lucky to be in a set-up like I am.

"That's probably (a timeframe) for your average Joe soap who isn't playing professional rugby."

When all is healed, Fitzgerald wants to make a positional move to be closer to the action.

"You would love to give it a go in the centre, if you got a chance," said Fitzgerald at the announcement of an international architectural competition to increase the RDS stadium capacity to 25,000.

"But, there is a huge amount of competition, a lot of versatile guys there. Whether it happens or not is a different story."

In the beginning, Fitzgerald was earmarked as the natural successor to Brian O'Driscoll for his deep and wide skills set. It has been said of him that 'he can do it all'. While O'Driscoll's career endured in the centre, Fitzgerald settled into life on the wing to make the 2009 British & Irish Lions before a series of injuries put a stop to his gallop.


The latest has taken the intervention of surgeon Gerry McEntee at The Mater Hospital to solve to a problem, of which O'Connor once said: "we're still trying to get to the bottom of it".

The process seems to have culminated in a clean-sweep operation where his abdomen and groins were repaired three weeks ago.

"I had the lower abdomen on both sides done as well as both groins so, yeah, I'm pretty happy," said Fitzgerald.

An injury that was first diagnosed as fleeting turned into a monster mess: "It was an absolute nightmare. Yeah it is a very important area. If you're having problems there, you can't run. It's as simple as that. All the power then is affected as a result. There are so many different things that can affect it.

"But, if you're having a problem there it ends up giving you problems in other places because you end up making allowances in your lower abdomen which is what happened."