Tuesday 20 February 2018

Leinster backs to the wall as Ringrose added to injury list


Ireland's Garry Ringrose. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ireland's Garry Ringrose. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

The 2016/17 campaign may have reached a conclusion on Saturday but the problems for Leinster and Ireland continue to mount ahead of next season after Garry Ringrose (pictured) was yesterday ruled out for up to five months after undergoing surgery on his shoulder.

The province are sweating on news from New Zealand with Sean O'Brien and Johnny Sexton requiring scans after both went off injured in Saturday's final Test for the Lions, while Robbie Henshaw will miss the first two months of the season at least as he recovers from the torn pectoral muscle he also suffered on tour.

Ringrose went under the knife last Monday to fix what Leinster described as "an ongoing shoulder issue" and the province said the operation was a success.

New signing James Lowe is unlikely to be available until November given his commitments with Tasman in the Mitre 10 Cup (NPC), meaning Leinster are short on front-line backs.

Sexton damaged his ankle ligaments during the first-half of Saturday's draw but was able to play on until the last 10 minutes.

O'Brien hurt his shoulder in a collision with Jerome Kaino and according to Lions coach Warren Gatland he felt no power in the joint and needed to come off.

O'Brien has previously undergone surgery on the same shoulder and it is feared he may need another spell on the sidelines on the back of an injury-plagued campaign.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, who returned to the country yesterday after taking in Saturday's series decider in Auckland, also has injury concerns over Jared Payne who left the Lions squad during the final week after it was revealed he had been suffering migraines and needed further testing.

The new season starts in just eight weeks' time and the coach will be hoping that he won't be without three of his preferred centres, although the impending availability of Bundee Aki, who will qualify through residency before the November Test series against South Africa, Argentina and Fiji, will bolster Ireland's ranks.

Leinster, however, may look for a short-term overseas signing to help them through if Sexton is ruled out of the beginning of next season given how short they will be in midfield.

Irish Independent

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