Sunday 20 January 2019

Hamstrung Kirchner a doubt for Aviva showdown

Zane Kirchner will miss the next 2-3 weeks with a hamstring strain.

This effectively puts Kirchner right on the borderline for being ready to play his part in the PRO12 League Interprovincial derby against Munster at the Aviva Stadium on October 4th.

Openside Shane Jennings (shoulder) should be able to compete against Connacht at The Sportsground on Friday.

The case of Seán O'Brien's ankle is not so clearcut as he continues his rehabilitation.

"We have been managing it and will make a further call ahead of the team announcement on Thursday at midday," said coach Matt O'Connor.

There was also tentative news about hooker Richardt Strauss, on his way back from a severe hamstring tear suffered as far back as 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".

Connacht hooker Sean Henry has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, ruling him out for six months at least.

This means former flanker Dave Heffernan will continue his stint in the first team as former Leinster hooker Jason Harris-Wright is 2-3 weeks away from full fitness and Auckland's Tom McCartney will not arrive in Galway until after the ITM Cup in New Zealand.

The pressure on resources is such that coach Pat Lam has to rely on first year Academy hooker Jack Dineen and another former Leinster convert in the Sub-Academy's Shane Delahunt.

Openside Jake Heenan will have to undergo surgery and 4-5 months of rehabilitation from a reoccurrence of a shoulder injury that was operated on as recently as February.

South African wing Danie Poolman will have to pass the return-to-play protocols from a bang on the head against Edinburgh in order to be in line for to take on Leinster.

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