CONNACHT WILL HAVE both Ultan Dillane and Jack Carty back in action sooner than expected after the province confirmed that neither player will need surgery to rectify their injury problems.
Irish international Dillane emerged as a doubt for the Six Nations last week due to the possibility of an operation being required on the ankle injury he sustained against Ulster on 23 December.
But according to today’s bulletin from the Guinness Pro12 champions, Dillane is expected to return in three-to-four weeks as the 23-year-old lock doesn’t require surgery. Given Connacht’s current injury crisis and Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Scotland on 4 February, the news is a boost to respective head coaches Pat Lam and Joe Schmidt.
Carty was replaced after just half an hour of Connacht’s Pro12 defeat to Ospreys on Saturday due to picking up a knee injury. Despite initial concerns of a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, the province say the out-half merely sustained a low-grade medial ligament sprain.
Carty will be unavailable for Saturday’s European Champions Cup encounter against Zebre at the Sportsground while his fitness is monitored, but he could be in line to return for the trip to Toulouse eight days later.
As for Connacht’s other fresh injury concerns, Peter Robb is observing the return-to-play protocols after being concussed on Saturday in Wales, while Jake Heenan’s knee injury rules him out for this weekend but he could also be back in contention for the Toulouse game.
Elsewhere, Nepia Fox-Matamua is continuing his rehab for the rib cartilage injury he sustained against Munster on New Year’s Eve. He is unavailable this week but his fitness will be monitored by the medical team.
Elsewhere, Quinn Roux is being treated for a groin injury and will continue to be monitored this week. John Muldoon will resume squad activity today having recovered from the hamstring injury that ruled him out against Ospreys.
Craig Ronaldson, Dominic Robertson McCoy and Josh Rowland have all been integrated into team training this week following their respective injuries.
Connacht today announced the signings of out-half Steve Crosbie, centre Tom Farrell and prop Peter McCabe. Farrell and John Andress, who recently joined Connacht despite announcing his retirement from rugby last month, have both been added to the province’s Champions Cup squad.