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Kearney doubt for Biarritz

DAVE KEARNEY is facing a race against time to be available for Leinster's Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Biarritz next Saturday afternoon.

Kearney took no part in any on-field training this week and is still being closely monitored by the medical staff after he was knocked out during last weekend's clash with Munster at Thomond Park.

The utility back received a kick to the head from Paul O'Connell and was knocked unconscious. On coming around he was immediately taken from the field and spent the night in hospital under observation.

He hasn't been officially ruled out of the semi-final game but is not expected to resume full training for a couple of weeks and is officially rated as "very doubtful" for the clash.

Meanwhile, Munster are hopeful Keith Earls will be available for their Heineken Cup semi-final against Clermont in Montpellier next Saturday.

Earls has made remarkable progress from an AC shoulder injury and was in contention to play against Leinster before pulling up in training.

He has since resumed training and has an outside chance of being included in the squad. The news is less positive on Doug Howlett, but he and Donncha O'Callaghan, who suffered a knee injury against Leinster, will be given every opportunity to prove their fitness.

Irish Independent