Monday 24 October 2016

Fitzgerald set to return to action after scan

Luke Fitzgerald
Luke Fitzgerald

Fears have receded over the state of Luke Fitzgerald's shoulder.

The results of a scan taken revealed no structural damage done to the injury-plagued Leinster left wing.

However, coach Leo Cullen has already signaled his intention to give the 28 year-old the extra week to prepare for the first round of The Champions Cup against Wasps on Sunday week.

It remains to be seen whether Cullen will take the same cautious view on Jonathan Sexton's ongoing return to 100 per cent from that tricky adductor injury at the World Cup.

Afterall, the Leinster fly-half has had just 52 minutes to absorb the new systems and calls devised by backs coach Girvan Dempsey.

The place-kicking duties were handed over to Fergus McFadden at Treviso on Sunday when Sexton had to take a 10-minute break for the warrant of a yellow card.

Cullen decided not to risk Sexton coming in cold and tweaking the groin area again in what was a calculated move from someone with his eye on what lies ahead.

Anyway, the growing confidence of Cathal Marsh, once again exercised in Italy, makes him a third option in behind Ian Madigan.

Seán Cronin's dead leg has healed well enough to have him in contention for The Scarlets on Friday night.

The hooker will be eager to hold onto the number two jersey ahead of Richardt Strauss, who Ireland coach Joe Schmidt promoted to second choice behind Rory Best at the World Cup.

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