Wednesday 17 July 2019

Jamie Heaslip undergoes second op to save rugby career

Leinster's Jamie Heaslip
Leinster's Jamie Heaslip

Des Berry

Jamie Heaslip has undergone a second operation in a bid to save his rugby career.

The most durable player in Irish rugby had a second surgery on the lower part of his back last Wednesday week.

It was born out of necessity as the trial-and-error of rehabilitation took the 33 year-old down a 'cul de sac'.

The number eight has not played since March 10th when he completed all 80 minutes against Wales in the Six Nations.

It was in the warm-up against England that he was forced to withdraw with a mysterious injury.

The lower back problem diagnosed required a microdisectomy, defined as "a relatively reliable surgery for immediate, or nearly immediate, relief of sciatica from a lumbar herniated disc".

The recovery period usually takes about a month and Heaslip returned to pre-season eager to reach peak fitness.

Within a week, he broke down and endured a complicated process of a drawn-out rehabilitation.

Ultimately, Heaslip opted for a second surgery to save his career when all else had failed.

The operation went as well as could be expected given how the initial intervention did not work.

"Specifically, they have identified it," said Leinster assistant coach Girvan Dempsey about the exact problem earlier this week.

"They feel that are on top of it now and can get to the bottom of it and move on."

There has been no return date set because Heaslip is in unknown territory.  

It is no exaggeration to suggest this is his last chance to make it back or face up to a premature retirement. 

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