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Saturday 18 November 2017

No definite return date for Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip. Photo: Sportsfile
Jamie Heaslip. Photo: Sportsfile

No news is not always good news - there is still no return-to-play date for the iron man of rugby Jamie Heaslip.

The Leinster and Ireland stalwart has been laid low with what amounts to a rehabilitation process, at least publicly, shrouded in mystery.

The Naas native has not played since the Six Nations in March and the subsequent operation to his lower back has not prompted Heaslip's timely return to the game.

There was a return to pre-season alright which was followed by a setback one week later.

One month ago, coach Leo Cullen even spoke about the possibility of a second surgery.

Assistant coach Girvan Dempsey was not able to shed any light on whether or not that took place or when the number eight will be back.

"I wish I could give you some update, in terms of time-frame. Unfortunately, I can't," said the former Ireland full-back.

"He is just continuing through the rehab programme and continual assessment.

"The only thing I can say to you is he has made progress. Unfortunately, we don't have an end date.

"It is slow. It is frustrating. He's frustrated. We're frustrated."

Ireland squad members James Ryan (concussion) and Dan Leavy (hip) are nursing injury.

Noel Reid is a serious doubt for Glasgow on Friday night due to the process of return-to-play protocols from a concussion against Ulster.

Fergus McFadden will be assessed later this week about how a tightness to his hamstring has progressed.

Leinster hope to see those not involved in Ireland's 23-man squad for South Africa return for League action.

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