IRFU decline to comment amid Cian Healy World Cup fears

It is believed the 27-year-old is still struggling to shake off the after effects of neck surgery.

IRELAND ARE BELIEVED to have concerns around Cian Healy’s recovery from neck surgery as the World Cup looms.

Cian Healy tackled by Ben Youngs Healy missed much of last season with a hamstring injury, before his neck issue flared up. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

Though initial reports after the loosehead prop’s operation to remedy a disc problem in his neck were positive, it has now emerged that there are worries about whether Healy will recover in time to feature in the global tournament, which begins in September.

When contacted by The42, the IRFU stated that they do not comment on speculation and would instead give a full overview of the health of Joe Schmidt’s squad at a media briefing next Tuesday, 4 August.

It is believed that Ireland and Leinster’s medical teams, both of whom have been working on Healy’s rehabilitation, remain hopeful that the prop can make swift improvements in the coming weeks and prove his fitness in time for the World Cup.

Healy is set to take some part in Ireland training today and tomorrow as his rehab programme continues. Schmidt’s squad have an open training session at Musgrave Park in Cork tomorrow, where the sight of Healy on the pitch would perhaps ease some fears.

The42 understands the issue centres around Healy’s limited range of movement and feeling in one hand, with the front row having struggled to completely close his fist after undergoing surgery 11 weeks ago.

The prospect of losing Healy for the World Cup, and potentially longer, is a hugely unwelcome one for Ireland and worrying for Leinster too. Jack McGrath’s emergence in recent seasons is of course a comfort, but Healy at his best is a world-class player.

Connacht loosehead Denis Buckley was called into the Ireland training squad two weeks ago to provide cover as Healy continues his efforts to return to full health, while Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne and Leinster man Michael Bent were already part of the group.

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