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'It'll take however long it takes': No timeline set for return of Heaslip and Kearney

The pair both underwent surgery in the last week of March, but no update has been given on their progress.

LEINSTER HAVE BEEN unable to put an exact date on the return to fitness of Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney, but the eastern province will definitely be without the Ireland pair for this weekend’s trip to Galway.

Jamie Heaslip who was a late withdrawl from the game Heaslip underwent surgery on a back problem last month. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Heaslip underwent an operation to correct a disc issue in his lower back in the final week of March, while Kearney went under the knife to rectify knee and bicep injuries following the Six Nations campaign.

While Kearney was initially ruled out for four to six weeks, there was no definitive timeline put on Heaslip’s return with Leinster offering no further update on the duo’s progress this afternoon.

It is highly unlikely either will be back in time for the province’s Champions Cup semi-final clash with Clermont Auvergne on Sunday week, with both out of contention for this weekend’s interpro against Connacht.

“There’s no real change in what was said originally, they’re in the building they’re working their way through the injuries,” John Fogarty said earlier.

“We’ll see where they go, hopefully they get back in time [for Clermont] but we’re not sure at the moment. It’ll take however long it takes.”

When asked if Leinster’s decision to provide ‘No Updates’ on Heaslip and Kearney in their weekly injury bulletin hinted that they may be sidelined for longer than expected, Fogarty played down those concerns.

“There’s certainly a plan in place, Jamie’s one is a bit sensitive we want to make sure he arrives back nice and fit,” he added.

“There’s a lot of rugby left in the season so there’s no fixed date at this moment in time which doesn’t mean there’s no plan, we’re just seeing how he [Heaslip] gets through his first couple of weeks.”

Fogarty issued an otherwise clean bill of health following the 20-18 victory at Ospreys on Saturday with Jack Conan the only player the medical staff are monitoring after he suffered a bang to his neck.

John Fogarty Leinster forwards coach John Fogarty speaking in UCD today. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Sean Cronin, Dave Kearney, Rhys Ruddock and Josh van der Flier all came through the win at the Liberty Stadium unscathed, while Dominic Ryan (knee) and Adam Byrne (hamstring) will step up their respective rehab programmes this week.

With the business end of the season approaching, Leo Cullen is likely to shuffle his deck again this weekend and under the IRFU’s player management programme, several players are expected to be rested.

Johnny Sexton, Garry Ringrose, Sean O’Brien and Luke McGrath were all given the weekend off last week and could come back into the frame for the trip to the Sportsground, although Fogarty was unwilling to give too much away.

“This type of season there has to be that management happening, there’s a lot of rugby that’s gone and a lot of rugby ahead of us,” he said.

“There has to be some management, keeping players fresh both mentally and physically because hopefully we’re going to put ourselves in a position where we can achieve something.”

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