Monday 22 April 2019

Sexton back to boost Leinster but Ulster hit by loss of Bowe and Henderson

Having missed Ireland’s quarter-final defeat to Argentina with a groin problem, Sexton returned to Leinster training yesterday and will be
monitored throughout the week
Having missed Ireland’s quarter-final defeat to Argentina with a groin problem, Sexton returned to Leinster training yesterday and will be monitored throughout the week
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Johnny Sexton has handed Leinster a fitness boost just over two weeks out from the beginning of the Champions Cup but the fallout from the World Cup hasn't been as kind to Ulster.

Having missed Ireland's quarter-final defeat to Argentina with a groin problem, Sexton returned to Leinster training yesterday and will be monitored throughout the week.

The out-half is unlikely to feature against Treviso on Sunday but could return for next weekend's Pro12 home game against the Scarlets before European action resumes.

Leinster have reported no other fresh concerns following the World Cup and will hold a full training session this morning.

"Johnny will be managed through the week. It's day one so he would have been assessed today (Tuesday) and will continue to be assessed. He had a light run-out on the field," forwards coach John Fogarty explained.

Blessed

"Everyone seems to have come through. We're blessed. You'd feel sorry for Ulster.

"Our guys performed quite well. They're disappointed that they didn't go further but we're delighted for them to come back in what appears to be good nick."

Ulster, meanwhile, have been dealt a couple of major blows with the news that Tommy Bowe will be out for at least six months after he underwent surgery yesterday on his posterior cruciate ligament.

The injury will rule Bowe out of the Six Nations but Ulster are hopeful that the winger will return before the end of the season.

Iain Henderson also went under the knife to stabilise a joint in his hand and he will miss up to six weeks, while Jared Payne's surgery on his fractured foot was a success but a time frame has not yet been put on his return.

"From our point of view, it was an attritional World Cup with those guys getting those knocks and, unfortunately for us, they have been pretty major," Ulster coach Neil Doak said.

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