Tullow Tank O'Brien revved up for return in Leinster's Treviso clash
Seán O'Brien has been cleared for a return to action in Leinster colours ahead of this weekend's Guinness PRO14 clash against Treviso, with an eye to featuring in next week's Champions Cup semi-final against Scarlets.
And Leo Cullen's side remain optimistic that scrum-half Luke McGrath can also win his fitness race for that clash against the Welsh side.
Although it is highly unlikely McGrath will be risked this weekend, Leinster remain confident that another week's training will confirm his recovery from an ankle injury in time to take his place for the Aviva showdown.
O'Brien has had an injury-plagued season, missing out on Ireland's Grand Slam success with hip trouble before damaging a shoulder upon returning for Leinster action last month.
O'Brien expressed his frustration last week at his inactivity as he targeted a return to Leinster in order to help their twin title challenge.
"I don't want to play a game and have a week off or anything like that. I want as much minutes as I can get to get a bit of consistency and flow," he said.
Munster have also received an injury boost ahead of their Champions Cup semi-final, away to Racing Metro in Bordeaux on Sunday week, with Simon Zebo named in their starting line-up for the PRO14 match in South Africa this evening against the Cheetahs.
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Zebo damaged a hip during the quarter-final win against Toulon, a game in which he had been struggling to participate in due to hamstring issues.
- Read more: Luke McGrath in fitness race for Champions Cup semi-final as scrum-half prepares to sit out Treviso clash
Tiernan O'Halloran has been cleared of a citing complaint taken in the wake of Connacht's defeat to Ospreys last weekend after a disciplinary committee decided he had no case to answer.
Retiring team-mate John Muldoon has been confirmed as an assistant with Bristol, the English Premiership-bound side led by his former PRO14-winning coach Pat Lam.
Former Ireland international centre Darren Cave has signed a one-year extension with Ulster.