herald

Sunday 19 May 2019

Leo waits on Cronin and Ruddock

WORRY: Rhys Ruddock. Pic: Sportsfile
WORRY: Rhys Ruddock. Pic: Sportsfile

Leinster are going to need everyone they can muster if they are to avoid the same fate as Munster Champions Cup final against Saracens at St James' Park in 17 days.

The fear that Sean Cronin's season could be over due to a calf strain have been allayed.

Even so, the hooker is up against the clock to make it back in time for Leinster attempt to go back-to-back in Europe.

The results of a scan over the weekend revealed just about the best-case scenario given the proximity of the play-off matches in European and the PRO14 League.

He will undergo an intensive period of rehabilitation targeted towards Saturday fortnight.

"We'll see how it goes, he's a pretty important person," said scrum coach John Fogarty.

"He's out for this week and then we've a prep week and then we play.

"It's important that he gets back, but we're not quite sure yet."

Adam Byrne hasn't been as fortunate, the revival of the wing's form stunted by a quad injury, suffered against Glasgow Warriors, which means the end of his season.

There has to be a worry over the fitness of Rhys Ruddock, who took a blow to the head against Ulster in the Champions Cup quarter-final.

The flanker was selected ahead of Scott Fardy for Toulouse only to be pulled late for an illness, revealed to be related to his concussion.

He has taken the appropriate steps back to the beginning of the return-to-play protocols.

Tight-head Andrew Porter missed out on the semi-final against Toulouse due to a minor pectoral muscle injury.

Coach Leo Cullen will leave it to later in the week before deciding on the prop's availability to travel up the M1 to the Kingspan Stadium.

In addition, the recovery of Jamison Gibson-Park (hamstring) and Ross Molony (back) from their injuries could have a significant impact on Cullen's selection strategy against Saracens.

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