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Wednesday 13 November 2019

Leavy aims to play some part in coming season

NO RUSH BACK: Dan Leavy. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
NO RUSH BACK: Dan Leavy. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Dan Leavy is targeting a return with Leinster before the end of the coming season, but the Ireland flanker warned that he will not rush back from what was a career-threatening injury.

The 25-year suffered a horrific knee injury during the Champions Cup quarter-final win over Ulster, which cruelly ended his World Cup dream.

Having undergone two surgeries, Leavy revealed that he is ahead of schedule in terms of his rehab.

He is, however, reluctant to overdo it as he hopes to feature for Leinster in time for the latter part of the season.

"The only thing is, with such a severe injury and what I sustained, the belief that the surgeon, the physio and rehab team have that I can come back from it, is really positive," Leavy said at Vodafone's "Ireland's Ball" launch event.

"They are telling me that I will be right as rain by the time I come back, so I'm looking forward to hopefully playing a part at the end of the season next year for Leinster and then we will see where we go from there.

"This is different. With something like an ankle injury I would always push it to get back as quick as I can for the team. This is something that I really need to get right.

"If I rush back from this and re-injure or I come back early and it's not right, it could be career-changing, so this is something I need to take my time with.

"If you are looking at the grand scheme of things and it's a 12-month injury, if it takes 13 months, what's another month going to matter."

While his physical recovery has been going well, Leavy admitted that he was still struggling to come to terms with the fact that he will play no part in Ireland's upcoming World Cup campaign.

Having enjoyed a stellar career since he broke onto the international stage in 2016, the former St Michael's student was primed to make a big impression in Japan.

He has had plenty of support from those around him, including Mayo footballer Tom Parsons, Ireland soccer international David Meyler and Connacht flanker Eoghan Masterson, who all suffered similarly bad knee injuries.

"I flicked on the Italy game and heard the pundits talking about it, and I had to turn it off," Leavy added.

"I was like 'I can't watch this.' I came back down and caught the end of the first-half and it was fine from there.

"Even last year, I was injured a good bit and it was always in the back of my head that: 'The World Cup is mine. That's where I am going to shine and that's where I am going to do my thing.'

"That was always my goal and then the fact it was just taken like that, was pretty tough to take."

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