LEINSTER MAY BE able to call on Sean O’Brien before the end of the season, as the Ireland international’s recovery from shoulder surgery in January continues ahead of schedule.
The Tullow man dislocated the joint against Ulster at the end of December 2013 and needed open surgery to remedy the problem, which appeared to firmly rule him out for the remainder of the current season.
However, Leinster skills and kicking coach Richie Murphy has confirmed that O’Brien is “doing really well with his long-term injury”. If the province managed to reach the final of the RaboDirect Pro12 on the 31st of May, the explosive back row would have another month to regain match fitness.
“For Seanie, there’s no return date on him but he’s doing really well. He isn’t training fully, he’s on modified training, but he’s not a million miles away from being back in the team environment.”
“It is possible that he’ll play before the end of the season, but no decision has been made on that as yet. He’s back to see a specialist this week and the progress that he’s made has been really good. He’s not a million miles away from being back with us training properly.
Fitzgerald looking fit
Meanwhile, there was more positive injury news for Leinster with Luke Fitzgerald expected to be “fit and ready” for Friday evening’s clash with Ulster at Ravenhill. The wing has recently struggled with hip/groin problems, but is now back in full training with the squad.
Scrum-half Eoin Reddan “has a bit of a shoulder issue,” but Leinster are hopeful that he will also be available for selection for the inter-provincial fixture.
Fergus McFadden’s progress following a knee injury against Toulon in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals has been encouraging, although the 27-year-old will need “probably another week or a little bit more” to fully recover.