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Season looks over for Strauss

RICHARDT Strauss's ambitions with Leinster, Ireland and the Lions could be at an end for this season.

He left The Aviva Stadium on crutches on Saturday and was thought to have done serious damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.

An operation and rehabilitation process would take six or seven months at best and rule him out of club and international rugby, giving little or no chance to show Warren Gatland what he has to offer The Lions.

There was a fear that Isa Nacewa could have broken his arm. He played on out of sheer bravery after his forearm was smashed early in the game.

The Aucklander was heavily bandaged and eventually forced off the field after medical consultation in the second-half even though it was obvious from his reaction that he would have soldiered on if the decision had not been taken out of his hands.

On further examination, it looks as though the arm is not broken. But, there was damage enough done there to probably put him out of the PRO12 League match against Ulster at Ravenhill on Friday night and the visit of Connacht to The RDS on December 29th.

Shane Jennings' shoulder was also banged up. He could be out for Friday night as well but the Connacht match on December 29 may not be outside his scope.

Flanker Kevin McLaughlin was given every opportunity to pass the return-to-pay protocols for the weekend. His concussion was just too serious to take a chance on.

He will be tested again this week to ascertain his progress. There is a 50-50 opportunity for him to make the Ulster match.