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Timely boost for Leinster as Sean O'Brien set for return to full training

The back rower is completing his recovery from a hamstring injury.

LEINSTER’S HOPES OF winning the Guinness Pro12 have received a timely boost with news that Sean O’Brien will return to full training this week.

The Ireland openside was a late withdrawal before the province’s Champions Cup semi-final defeat to Clermont 10 days ago with a hamstring injury.

However, O’Brien will get fully back up to speed with the squad this week ahead of Saturday’s trip to Ulster in what is Leinster’s final regulation game of the Pro12 season.

“I think Sean is close,” scrum coach John Fogarty said at UCD this afternoon.

“I think he’s running today. He’s back on the pitch this week.

“Obviously he’s had some issues in the past with his hamstring so it’s just important that he gets back and he’s healthy for us towards the end of the season and into the Lions.

“He’s been rehabbing, he’s in good nick. He’s on the gym floor, he’s on the pitch this week. It’s just about making sure he’s in a good spot.”

John Fogarty Leinster forwards coach John Fogarty. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

A home semi-final awaits Leo Cullen’s side on 19 May as Leinster bid to make a ninth Pro12 final in 12 years.

Dominic Ryan is the only fresh injury concern after Friday night’s narrow victory against Glasgow at the RDS. The back rower sustained a bicep injury and won’t be fit in time for this weekend and is awaiting further assessment this week.

Jack Conan (calf), Sean Cronin (neck) and Robbie Henshaw (rib) could be available for selection depending on the progression of their respective injuries over the coming days.

Ed Byrne (hamstring), Dave Kearney (ankle), Mike McCarthy (back and elbow), Rob Kearney (bicep and knee), Jamie Heaslip (back) and Jordi Murphy (knee) remain out of contention for selection.

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Alan Waldron

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