Sexton faces fitness race for Toulouse clash after jaw surgery
JONATHAN SEXTON faces a race against time to be fit for Leinster's semi-final visit to Toulouse after undergoing successful surgery on a broken jaw suffered during Friday's breathtaking 29-28 quarter-final victory against Clermont Auvergne.
The incumbent Irish out-half had a plate inserted to stabilise his jaw, a routine procedure, but the player will have to heal quickly in order to have any chance of being fit to play 80 minutes of rugby.
Rob Kearney (ankle) and Brian O'Driscoll (knee) are expected to resume light training this week and neither player is deemed a concern for the reigning champions' latest leg of their Heineken Cup defence.
Munster captain Paul O'Connell's groin injury remains a subject of concern after he was forced to predictably cry off at the last moment ahead of Saturday's scintillating 33-19 quarter-final success against Northampton Saints.
"We'll just have to wait and see," said Munster coach Tony McGahan after his side booked a semi-final slot against the team they defeated to win the first of their two Heineken Cup successes in 2006, Biarritz.
"We thought he would be right for today, and we gave him every opportunity up to the last minute to get there but again he wasn't right so we just have to reassess and see how we go."
Winger Ian Dowling was forced off during the game after shipping a heavy knock before half-time, while full-back Paul Warwick was in occasional difficulty during the game, although his injury required no medical update.
Saturday, May 1: Toulouse v Leinster, Stade Municipal, 3.45
Sunday, May 2: Biarritz v Munster, Estadio Anoeta, 3.15
Connacht v Toulon, London Wasps v Cardiff Blues
(Dates, times TBC for weekend April 31/May 1-2)
Irish Independent Sport Star Awards
Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.