Thursday 12 December 2019

Springboks Ruan Pienaar and Zane Kirchner facing weeks on the sidelines

South Africa's Springboks Ruan Pienaar leaves the field during their Rugby Championship match against New Zealand's All Blacks at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, September 13, 2014. REUTERS/Anthony Phelps (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: SPORT RUGBY)
South Africa's Springboks Ruan Pienaar leaves the field during their Rugby Championship match against New Zealand's All Blacks at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, September 13, 2014. REUTERS/Anthony Phelps (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: SPORT RUGBY)

Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar is facing 4-6 weeks on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury against the All Blacks last weekend and compatriot Zane Kirchner was also on the receiving end of some bad news.

An Ulster statement on Tuesday said that Pienaar's medial collateral ligament sprain would put him out of action for between four and six weeks.

Ulster face Leicester on 18 October before taking on Toulon a week later in the inaugural Champions Cup and will be hoping their star makes a quick recovery to feature in those crucial encounters.

Meanwhile, Leinster's Zane Kirchner is facing up to three weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

"Zane Kirchner was forced off with a hamstring injury and he's going to be out for two to three weeks. It's just a tweak so we are lucky in that regard. Shane Jennings we replaced as he took a knock to the shoulder but it's nothing serious and he's fine," Leinster boss Matt O'Connor said

There was also an update on Sean O'Brien, who captained Leinster against Glasgow but didn't feature against Scarlets. 

"Sean O'Brien took a bang on his ankle late last week so with a number of other players returning we felt it wasn't worth risking for the Scarlets game. We have been managing it ever since and will make a further call ahead of the team announcement on Thursday at midday, " he added

There was positive news with regard to Richardt Strauss who is coming back from a hamstring injury suffered in the PRO12 victory over Edinburgh in early May.

"Richardt is progressing really well and it was good to see him back involved with the rest of the group this week. He is still some weeks away but he has really stepped up his rehab this week."

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Online Editors

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport