Sunday 21 January 2018

Carbery steps up planned return to boost Leinster

Leinster's Joey Carbery is stepping up his rehabilitation from a broken wrist. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster's Joey Carbery is stepping up his rehabilitation from a broken wrist. Photo: Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

If they say injuries ultimately make one stronger, then Leinster's irrepressible strength as one year begets another surely stands up the thesis.

Throughout the unbeaten interprovincial series, they have performed without an international class back-row numbering two Lions and an Irish captain with almost nobody, bar the three absentees, even noticing.

While Jamie Heaslip and Rhys Ruddock have still no date penned for their return to action, Seán O'Brien is, however, on target for a return from a hip problem in time for Leinster's switch of attention from dominating Ireland to renewing their assault on Europe.

The Tullow man is due to return for the home fixture against Glasgow on Sunday week but, with Josh van der Flier breaking the Guinness PRO14 tackle stats for one game against Connacht, and Dan Leavy producing some stunning form, Leinster have hardly blinked.

"Seán is unavailable for this week, that's as far as it goes at the moment," according to Leinster assistant coach John Fogarty. "We're not going to risk it."

Joey Carbery will also step up his rehabilitation from a broken wrist as he returns to training although a European comeback is not guaranteed for the gifted back.

Leavy (back), Luke McGrath (HIA) and Adam Byrne (knee) will all be assessed this week as Leo Cullen prepares to juggle his elaborately-stocked larder ahead of Saturday's visit to the RDS of Ulster.

Rory O'Loughlin must complete post-concussion protocols before his fitness is assured while, worryingly, there was no concrete news on James Ryan's ankle injury.

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